The active form of vitamin D, calcitriol, induces a complex dual upregulation of endothelin and nitric oxide in cultured endothelial cells
Cano-Peñalver, Jose Luis
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Despite the presence of vitamin D receptor (VDR) in endothelial cells, the effect of vitamin D on endothelial function is unknown. An unbalanced production of vasoactive endothelial factors such as nitric oxide (NO) or endothelin-1 (ET-1) results in endothelial dysfunction, which can alter the normal
cardiovascular function. Present experiments were devoted to assess the effect of active vitamin D (calcitriol) on the synthesis of endothelial vasoactive factors. The results were that, in cells, calcitriol increased ET-1 and NO productions, which were measured by ELISA and fluorimetric assay, respectively. Calcitriol also increased endothelin-converting enzyme-1 (ECE-1) and endothelial-nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) activities, their mRNA (qPCR), their protein expressions (Western-blot), and their promoter activities (transfection assays). Calcitriol did not change prepro-ET-1 mRNA. The effect was specific to VDR activation because when VDR was silenced by siRNA, the observed effects disappeared. Mechanisms involved in each upregulation differed. ECE-1 upregulation depended on AP-1 activation, whereas eNOS upregulation depended directly on VDR activation. To evaluate the in vivo consequences of acute calcitriol treatment, normal Wistar rats were treated with a single ip injection of 400 ng/kg calcitriol and euthanized 24 h later. Results confirmed those observed in cells, that production and expression of both factors were increased by calcitriol. Besides, calcitriol-treated rats showed a slight rise in mean blood pressure, which decreased when pretreated with FR-901533, an ECE-1 antagonist. We conclude that calcitriol increases the synthesis of both ET-1 and NO in endothelial cells. However, the ET-1 upregulation seems to be biologically more relevant, as animals acutely treated with calcitriol show slight increases in blood pressure.
Is part ofAmerican Journal of Physiology Endocrinology and Metabolism, 2014, vol.307, núm. 12, e1085-e1096
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