A system for exposing molecules and cells to biologically relevant and accurately controlled steady-state concentrations of nitric oxide and oxygen

Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
Nitric Oxide (Impact Factor: 3.52). 06/2012; 27(3):161-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.niox.2012.06.004
Source: PubMed


Nitric oxide (NO) plays key roles in cell signaling and physiology, with diverse functions mediated by NO concentrations varying over three orders-of-magnitude. In spite of this critical concentration dependence, current approaches to NO delivery in vitro result in biologically irrelevant and poorly controlled levels, with hyperoxic conditions imposed by ambient air. To solve these problems, we developed a system for controlled delivery of NO and O(2) over large concentration ranges to mimic biological conditions. Here we describe the fabrication, operation and calibration of the delivery system. We then describe applications for delivery of NO and O(2) into cell culture media, with a comparison of experimental results and predictions from mass transfer models that predict the steady-state levels of various NO-derived reactive species. We also determined that components of culture media do not affect the steady-state levels of NO or O(2) in the device. This system provides critical control of NO delivery for in vitro models of NO biology and chemistry.

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    ABSTRACT: Hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) is a critical regulator of cellular responses to hypoxia. Under normoxic conditions, the cellular HIF-1α level is regulated by hydroxylation by prolyl hydroxylases (PHDs), ubiquitylation, and proteasomal degradation. During hypoxia, degradation decreases, and its intracellular level is increased. Exogenously administered nitric oxide (NO)-donor drugs stabilize HIF-1α; thus, NO is suggested to mimic hypoxia. However, the role of low levels of endogenously produced NO generated during hypoxia in HIF-1α stabilization has not been defined. Here, we demonstrate that NO and reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced endogenously by human colon carcinoma HCT116 cells are responsible for HIF-1α accumulation in hypoxia. The antioxidant N-acetyl-l-cysteine (NAC) and NO synthase inhibitor N(G)-monomethyl l-arginine (L-NMMA) effectively reduced HIF-1α stabilization and decreased HIF-1α hydroxylation. These effects suggested that endogenous NO and ROS impaired PHD activity, which was confirmed by reversal of L-NMMA- and NAC-mediated effects in the presence of dimethyloxaloylglycine, a PHD inhibitor. Thiol reduction with dithiothreitol decreased HIF-1α stabilization in hypoxic cells, while dinitrochlorobenzene, which stabilizes S-nitrosothiols, favored its accumulation. This suggested that ROS- and NO-mediated HIF-1α stabilization involved S-nitrosation, which was confirmed by demonstrating increased S-nitrosation of PHD2 during hypoxia. Our results support a regulatory mechanism of HIF-1α during hypoxia in which endogenously generated NO and ROS promote inhibition of PHD2 activity, probably by its S-nitrosation.
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    Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · Nitric Oxide
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