Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
1. In addition to their contribution to endothelium-derived hyperpolarization, our understanding of the physiological function of epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EET) within the vascular wall and the actual enzymes involved in the formation of the EET in endothelial cells is very limited. In the present study, the expression of potential cytochrome P450 (CYP) mono/epoxygenases was assessed in endothelial cells isolated from porcine and bovine aortas as well as in the human umbilical vein-derived cell lines EA.hy926andECV304.2. Expression of CYP2B1, CYP2E1 and CYP3A could be found. The latter were inducible by dexamethasone/cloflbrate for 72 h, a procedure that also enhanced CYP epoxygenase activity in endothelial cells.3. Enzyme induction yielded increases in capacitative Ca2+ entry and membrane hyperpolarization in response to autacoids, such as bradykinin and thapsigargin. Thiopentone sodium, an inhibitor of endothelial CYP mono/epoxygenase(s), diminished autacoid-induced capacitative Ca2+ entry and membrane hyperpolarization, while the effect of EET remained unchanged.4. Epoxyeicosatrienoic acids activated endothelial tyrosine kinase activity in a concentration-dependent manner. Arachidonic acid, at 20-fold higher concentrations, also increased tyrosine kinase activity. Because only the effect of arachidonic acid was inhibited by thiopentone sodium, an inhibitor of CYP mono/epoxygenases, these data suggest that arachidonic acid needs to be converted to the EET in order to stimulate tyrosine kinase.5. All these data provide clear evidence that the CYP epoxygenase-derived arachidonic acid metabolites (EET) not only serve as potential endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factors but also constitute highly active intracellular messengers with a physiological role including the control of Ca2+ signalling, membrane potential and tyrosine kinase activity.
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