Potentiation of nitric oxide-mediated vasorelaxation by xanthine oxidase inhibitors

Yoichi Miyamoto, Takaaki Akaike, Masaki Yoshida, Shingo Goto, Hidechika Horie, Hiroshi Maeda

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75 Citations (Scopus)


Nitric oxide (NO), now almost synonymous with endothelium-derived relaxing factor (EDRF), reacts with superoxide anion radical (O2-) and forms a potentially toxic molecular species, peroxynitrite (ONOO-). Because xanthine oxidase (XO) seems to be a major O2--producing enzyme in the vascular system. It is important to clarify the mechanism of XO regulation of NO/EDRF. We first characterized the inhibition of XO in vitro by three types of pyrazolopyrimidine derivatives. Kinetic studies indicated that 4-amino-6- hydroxypyrazolo[3,4-d]pyrimidine (AHPP) and allopurinol competitively inhibited the conversion of xanthine to uric acid catalyzed by XO, with apparent K1 values of 0.17 ± 0.02 and 0.50 ± 0.03 μM, respectively; alloxanthine inhibited this conversion in a noncompetitive manner with an apparent K1 value of 3.54 ± 1.12 μM. O2- generation in the xanthine/XO system assayed by lucigenin-dependent chemiluminescence was suppressed most strongly by AHPP in a dose-dependent fashion; allopurinol itself appears to reduce the enzyme by transfer of an electron to O2, thus generating O2-. AHPP significantly augmented EDRF-mediated relaxation of aortic rings from both rabbits and spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) in a dose-dependent manner, whereas allopurinol did not affect the relaxation and only marginal potentiation of the vasorelaxation was observed with alloxanthine. Finally, iv injection of AHPP (50.4 mg/kg; 100 μmol/300 g rat) reduced the blood pressure of SHR rats to 70% of the initial pressure; this pressure is almost the blood pressure of normal rats. Allopurinol (100 μmol/300 g rat; iv) showed transient decrease in blood pressure and moderate reduction of hypertension of SHR (10%) was observed with iv injection of alloxanthine (100 μmol/300 g rat). On the basis of these results, it seems that XO regulates EDRF/NO via production of O2-.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366-373
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1996 Apr


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