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  • Author: Ruzena Sotnikova x
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Effects of reactive oxygen species and neutrophils on endothelium-dependent relaxation of rat thoracic aorta

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are produced in different metabolic processes including the respiratory burst of neutrophils accompanying local inflammation. The aim of this study was to analyze the effects of N-formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (FMLP)-activated neutrophils, isolated from the guinea pig peritoneal cavity, on isolated rings of a large (conduit) artery, the rat thoracic aorta. FMLP-activated neutrophils enhanced the basal tension increased by α1-adrenergic stimulation. In phenylephrine-precontracted aortae, they elicited marked contraction, while in noradrenaline-precontracted rat aortal rings they caused a biphasic response (contraction-relaxation). To eliminate interaction of activated neutrophils with catecholamines, in the subsequent experiments the basal tension was increased by KCl-induced depolarization. Activated neutrophils evoked a low-amplitude biphasic response (relaxationcontraction) on the KCl-induced contraction. Not only the acetylcholine- and A23187-induced relaxations but also the catalase sensitive hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) elicited contractions were endothelium-dependent. Even though the acetylcholine-induced relaxation was changed by activated neutrophils and by the ROS studied, their effects differed significantly, yet none of them did eliminate fully the endothelium-dependent acetylcholine relaxation. The effect of activated neutrophils resembled the effect of superoxide anion radical (O2 •-) produced by xanthine/xanthine oxidase (X/XO) and differed from the inhibitory effects of Fe2SO4/H2O2-produced hydroxyl radical (OH) and H2O2. Thus O2 •- produced either by activated neutrophils or X/XO affected much less the endothelium-dependent acetylcholine-activated relaxation mechanisms than did OH and H2O2. In the large (conduit) artery, the effects of activated neutrophils and various ROS (O2 •-, OH and H2O2) seem to be more dependent on muscle tension than on endothelial mechanisms.


The aim of the study was to analyze the involvement of the endothelium in the effects of neutrophils (PMNL) on phenylephrine-pre-contracted isolated rings of the rat thoracic aorta and to compare their effects with those of peroxynitrite (ONOO) and hypochlorous acid (HOCl). Activated PMNL-induced contraction of the precontracted aorta was prevented by the blockade of NO-synthase and by endothelium removal. In the endothelium-free preparations, the effect of PMNL reappeared in the presence of sodium nitroprusside. The effect of ONOO and HOCl significantly differed from that of activated PMNL both in the presence and absence of the endothelium. It is therefore likely that neither ONOO nor HOCl generated by transformation of superoxide anion radical (O2 •−) produced by PMNL is involved in their action. Reduction of the relaxant effect of nitric oxide derived from the endothelium by O2 •− seems to be the keystone mechanism in generation of PMNL-induced contraction.


Reactive oxygen species has been implicated to contribute significantly to tissue injury associated with ulcerative colitis. Thus compounds with antioxidant properties could be potential therapeutic agents in this disease. Flavonoid compounds are known to possess antioxidative and antiinflammatory properties. Two derivatives of the flavonoid quercetin (Q), chloronaphthoquinone quercetin (CNC) and monochloropivaloyl quercetin (MCP), showed improved antioxidant properties and moreover, they efficiently inhibited aldose reductase activity in vitro. The aim of the work was to test the potential efficacy of quercetin and these synthetic derivatives in vivo in prevention of intestinal inflammation during ulcerative colitis in rats. Colitis was induced by intracolonic administration of acetic acid (4% solution). The control group received the same volume of saline. The vehicle dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and the drugs Q, CNC or MCP were administered orally two hours and then one hour before the acetic acid or saline instillation. After 48 hours, the animals were sacrificed and the colon was weighed, measured and scored for visible damage. Acetic acid triggered an intense inflammatory response of the colon, characterised by haemorrhage, ulceration and bowel wall thickening. From the drugs tested, only CNC (2 × 50 mg/kg) effectively depressed inflammatory damage of the colon. The mechanism of this beneficial effect remains to be elucidated.


Nickel oxide in the form of nanoparticles (NiO NPs) is extensively used in different industrial branches. In a test on adult zebrafish, the acute toxicity of NiO NPs was shown to be low, however longlasting contact with this compound can lead to its accumulation in the tissues and to increased toxicity. In this work we determined the 30-day toxicity of NiO NPs using a static test for zebrafish Danio rerio. We found the 30-day LC50 value to be 45.0 mg/L, LC100 (minimum concentration causing 100% mortality) was 100.0 mg/L, and LC0 (maximum concentration causing no mortality) was 6.25 mg/L for adult individuals of zebrafish. Considering a broad use of Ni in the industry, NiO NPs chronic toxicity may have a negative impact on the population of aquatic organisms and on food web dynamics in aquatic systems.


Metabolic syndrome belongs to the most important risk factors of cardiovascular diseases. The aim of this study was to investigate changes in cardiovascular system induced by high cholesterol and high fat diet (HCHF) in HTG rats and their influence by a pyridoindole antioxidant – SMe1EC2 (S). The effects of S were compared with those of atorvastatin (A). Male HTG rats were fed HCHF (1% cholesterol + 7.5% lard) for 4 weeks. S and A were administered p.o., 50 mg/kg b.w. Following experimental groups were used: Wistar rats (W), hypertriglyceridemic rats (HTG), HTG rats fed HCHF (CHOL), HTG+S (S-HTG), CHOL+S (S-CHOL), and CHOL+A (A-CHOL). Values of blood pressure (BP) and selected ECG parameters were monitored in conscious animals, functions of the isolated heart and aorta were analyzed ex vivo. At the end of the experiment, systolic (sBP) and diastolic (dBP) blood pressure was increased in HTG and CHOL. S and A decreased BP in all treated groups. Accordingly with BP changes, the aortic endothelial function of CHOL was damaged. Both S and A administration ameliorated the endothelium-dependent relaxation to values of W. PQ and QTc intervals were prolonged in CHOL, while the treatment with S or A improved ECG findings. Prodysrhythmogenic threshold was decreased significantly in CHOL and both treatments returned it to the control values. In conclusion, HCHF increased BP, impaired endothelial relaxation of the aorta and potentiated susceptibility of myocardium to dysrhythmias. The effect of S on the changes induced by HCHF diet was more pronounced than that of A.

Chemiluminescence response induced by mesenteric ischaemia/reperfusion: effect of antioxidative compounds ex vivo

Ischaemia and reperfusion (I/R) play an important role in human pathophysiology as they occur in many clinical conditions and are associated with high morbidity and mortality. Interruption of blood supply rapidly damages metabolically active tissues. Restoration of blood flow after a period of ischaemia may further worsen cell injury due to an increased formation of free radicals. The aim of our work was to assess macroscopically the extent of intestinal pathological changes caused by mesenteric I/R, and to study free radical production by luminol enhanced chemiluminescence (CL) of ileal samples. In further experiments, the antioxidative activity of the drugs tested was evaluated spectrophotometrically by the use of the DPPH radical. We studied the potential protective ex vivo effect of the plant origin compound arbutin as well as of the pyridoindole stobadine and its derivative SMe1EC2. I/R induced pronounced haemorrhagic intestinal injury accompanied by increase of myeloperoxidase (MPO) and N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase (NAGA) activity. Compared to sham operated (control) rats, there was only a slight increase of CL response after I/R, probably in association with neutrophil increase, indicated by enhanced MPO activity. All compounds significantly reduced the peak values of CL responses of the ileal samples ex vivo, thus reducing the I/R induced increase of free radical production. The antioxidants studied showed a similar inhibitory effect on the CL response influenced by mesenteric I/R. If proved in vivo, these compounds would represent potentially useful therapeutic antioxidants.


The aim of the study was to test the hypothesis that the effect of atorvastatin on endothelium-dependent relaxation of the superior mesenteric artery (SMA) may differ in male vs. female aged hypertriglyceridemic rats (HTGs). Experiments were performed on 11-month-old male and female Prague hereditary HTGs. Atorvastatin (ATO) was administered p.o. in the dose of 0.30 mg/100g/day.

Controls received vehiculum. After two months of ATO administration blood pressure, serum triglycerides (TG) and total cholesterol (CHOL) were determined. Endothelial function of SMA was studied in vitro using evaluation of relaxant responses of precontracted SMA to acetylcholine. The serum TG of control male HTGs were found to be statistically higher than those of female controls, while CHOL and blood pressure did not share gender differences. Responses of SMA of female control HTGs were statistically decreased compared to their male counterparts. ATO treatment induced decrease in blood pressure and TG of both males and females, yet CHOL values were reduced only in females. The protective effect of ATO on SMA endothelial function was much more pronounced in females compared to males.

We conclude that vascular endothelial dysfunction of aged HTG rats is more severe and more attenuated by ATO in females compared to males. The protective effect of ATO on vascular endothelial function does not seem to depend solely on its lipid lowering action.


The antioxidant and reactive-oxygen-species-scavenging activity of stobadine has been demonstrated in previous studies. Recently, chemical modification of this leading structure led to the synthesis of other pyridoindole derivatives with significantly increased intrinsic antioxidant efficacy. Further structural modifications of stobadine provided the opportunity to increase bioavailability and attenuate unwanted side effects, such as α-adrenolytic activity. The aim of the work was to evaluate the direct effect of a novel pyridoindole, SMe1EC2, on the vascular wall ex vivo. The vasomotor effect of SMe1EC2 (1×10-8-1×10-4 mol/l) was measured on isolated and pressurized rat cerebral and coronary arterioles using video-microscopy. The effect of SMe1EC2 (1×10-6 and 1×10-5 mol/l) on high potassium-, phenylephrine- or serotonin-induced contraction or acetylcholine-induced relaxation was also determined in aortic rings. We found that SMe1EC2 (1×10-8-1×10-4 mol/l) elicited significant dilatations in both cerebral and coronary arterioles (max dilatation: 25±8% and 18±5% respectively). Yet, SMe1EC2 (1×10-6 and 1×10-5 mol/l) did not influence the tone of aortic rings nor did it affect high potassium-, phenylephrine- or serotonin -induced contractions and acetylcholine-induced relaxation. Thus SMe1EC2 was able to dilate resistance arteries but did not affect aortic contractility. It is likely that SMe1EC2 does not possess α1-adrenolytic and anti-serotoninergic activity in the vascular wall.


Elevated plasma cholesterol, especially low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, is one of the major risk factors for atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease. Hereditary hypertriglyceridemic rats (hHTG) were developed as a new inbred model for the study of relationships between blood pressure and metabolic abnormalities. The aim of this work was to determine the cholesterol-lowering and antioxidant effects of the novel pyridoindol derivative SMe1EC2, compared to the cholesterol-lowering drug atorvastatin, in rats fed either standard or high-fat and high-cholesterol diet (HFC; 1% cholesterol and 7.5% lard fat). Male hHTG rats fed HFC (HTG+HFC) were administered with SMe1EC2 or atorvastatin (both 50 mg/kg/day p.o.) for 4 weeks. Physiological status of animals was monitored by the measurement of preprandial glucose levels and blood pressure. Lipid profile was characterized by the serum levels of total cholesterol (TC), HDL-, LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides (TRG). The concentration of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) was evaluated in the kidney, liver and serum. Further, the assessment of pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α, IL-1 and IL-6 in the serum was completed. Feeding the animals with HFC diet resulted in increased serum levels of TC, LDL and TRG. SMe1EC2 ameliorated serum levels of LDL in hHTG rats, both on standard and HFC diet. These effects were comparable with those of the standard hypolipidemicum atorvastatin. SMe1EC2 lowered blood pressure, tissue TBARS concentrations and serum IL-1 levels of HTG+HFC rats. Beneficial effects together with very good toxicity profile predestinate SMe1EC2 to be promising agent for further surveys related to metabolic syndrome features.


At present, nanoparticles are beginning to influence our lives in many ways and understanding the environmental health and safety aspect of nanomaterials has become a crucial issue. The aim of the work was to assess and compare the acute toxicity of 31 different nanomaterials to fish mature individuals Danio rerio with that to fish early life stages on using evaluation of the 48- and 96- hour LC50 values. A further aim was to evaluate teratogenicity of the nanoparticles tested to fish eggs. The nanoparticles tested were: 8 pure metals, 10 metal oxides, 5 other metal compounds and their mixtures, 2 silicon compounds, 3 calcium compounds, and 3 carbon compounds. Using 48-h and 96-h tests of acute toxicity (according to OECD 203), we evaluated mortality data, LC50 values, occurrence of malformations, as well as hatching time. In our study, 6 kinds of nanoparticles - calcium oxide, copper, copper in the form of oxide and CuZnFe4O4, magnesium oxide, and nickel - caused cumulative mortality. Two kinds of nanoparticles - copper and silver - were toxic for fish with LC50 values of approximately 3 mg/L. We did not observe marked differences between the 48-hour and 96-hour acute toxicity LC50 values, yet the possibility to evaluate hatching time in the 96-h acute fish toxicity test seems to be an advantage against that of the 48-hour toxicity.