Chronic iron overload enhances inducible nitric oxide synthase expression in rat liver
Iron is an essential micronutrient promoting oxidative stress in the liver of overloaded animals and human, which may trigger the expression of redox-sensitive genes. We have tested the hypothesis that chronic iron overload (CIO) enhances inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression in rat liver by extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK 1/2) and NF-kappa B activation. CIO (diet enriched with 3%(wt/wt) carbonyl-iron for 12 weeks) increased liver protein carbonylation and decreased reduced glutathione (GSH) content and the GSH/GSSG ratio after 6 weeks, parameters that are normalized after 8-12 weeks of treatment. These changes are paralleled by higher phosphorylated-ERK1/2 to non-phosphorylated-ERK1/2 ratios at 6 and 8 weeks, increased NF-kappa B DNA binding to the iNOS gene promoter at 8-12 weeks, and higher iNOS mRNA expression and activity at 8 and 12 weeks. It is concluded that CIO triggers liver oxidative stress at early times, with upregulation of iNOS expression involving the ERK/NF-kappa B pathway at later times, a finding that may represent a hepatoprotective mechanism against CIO toxicity in addition to the recovery of GSH horneostasis.
Quote ItemNITRIC OXIDE-BIOLOGY AND CHEMISTRY 13 (1): 54-61 AUG 2005