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ABSTRACT: 4-Hydroxynonenal (HNE), an end-product of membrane lipid peroxidation, has been suggested to mediate a number of oxidative stress-linked pathological events such as cellular apoptosis. However, little is known about the signals by which HNE induces vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) apoptosis. To elucidate the mechanism(s) involved in HNE-induced VSMC apoptosis, we investigated the importance of mitochondria as a potential source for reactive oxygen species (ROS). Exposure of VSMC to HNE (1-30 microM) showed an augmented apoptotic changes in a concentration-dependent manner in association with an increased production of ROS, both of which were significantly attenuated by mitochondrial inhibitors such as rotenone (0.1 microM) and stigmatellin (0.1 microM), but not affected by other oxidase inhibitors involving NADPH oxidase, xanthine oxidase and cyclooxygenase. In connection with these results, HNE-induced ROS generation was not observed in mitochondrial function-deficient (rho 0) VSMC. Taken together, these results suggest that mitochondrial dysfunction plays a key role in mediating HNE-induced VSMC apoptosis through an increased mitochondrial production of ROS.
Toxicology Letters 11/2006; 166(3):212-21. · 3.15 Impact Factor