Pathogenetic role of eNOS uncoupling in cardiopulmonary disordersPathogenetic role of eNOS uncoupling in cardiopulmonary disorders
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Antwerp Surgical Training, Anatomy and Research Centre (ASTARC)
2011New York, N.Y., 2011
Free radical biology and medicine. - New York, N.Y.
50(2011):7, p. 765-776
University of Antwerp
The homodimeric flavohemeprotein endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) oxidizes l-arginine to l-citrulline and nitric oxide (NO), which acutely vasodilates blood vessels and inhibits platelet aggregation. Chronically, eNOS has a major role in the regulation of blood pressure and prevention of atherosclerosis by decreasing leukocyte adhesion and smooth muscle proliferation. However, a disturbed vascular redox balance results in eNOS damage and uncoupling of oxygen activation from l-arginine conversion. Uncoupled eNOS monomerizes and generates reactive oxygen species (ROS) rather than NO. Indeed, eNOS uncoupling has been suggested as one of the main pathomechanisms in a broad range of cardiovascular and pulmonary disorders such as atherosclerosis, ventricular remodeling, and pulmonary hypertension. Therefore, modulating uncoupled eNOS, in particular eNOS-dependent ROS generation, is an attractive therapeutic approach to preventing and/or treating cardiopulmonary disorders, including protective effects during cardiothoracic surgery. This review provides a comprehensive overview of the pathogenetic role of uncoupled eNOS in both cardiovascular and pulmonary disorders. In addition, the related therapeutic possibilities such as supplementation with the eNOS substrate l-arginine, volatile NO, and direct NO donors as well as eNOS modulators such as the eNOS cofactor tetrahydrobiopterin and folic acid are discussed in detail.