Chronic arsenic exposure has been linked to an increased risk of vascular diseases. To clarify the molecular mechanisms through which arsenic causes injuries to blood vessels, we analyzed the effects of arsenic trioxide on the cytotoxicity, intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), the expression of related genes, and signaling pathways involved in the SVEC4-10 mouse endothelial cells. Arsenic dose-dependently caused SVEC4-10 cell death, which is completely inhibited by α-lipoic acid (LA), a thioreductant, but partially ameliorated by Tiron, a potent superoxide scavenger. The mRNA levels of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), interleukin-6 (IL-6), monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) were significantly increased by arsenic. The up-regulation of these can be blocked byLAinstead of Tiron, suggesting ROS is not important in their increase. HO-1 competitive inhibitor zinc protoporphyrin improved the cytotoxicity of arsenic in an inverted-U dose-response curve, indicating the biphasic hormetic effect of HO-1. HO-1 siRNA decreased VEGF expression in response to arsenic. Arsenic exposure also enhanced NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) expression and increased activation of nuclear factor -kB (NF -kB). NF -kB inhibitor Bay 11-7082 reduced arsenic-mediated expression of HO-1 and IL-6. Selective blocking of theMAPKpathways with p38 inhibitor SB203580 significantly decreased arsenic-induced HO-1 and VEGF expression, while JNKs inhibitor SP600125 increased IL-6 expression. These results suggest that in arsenic-treated SVEC4-10 cells, HO-1 expression is mediated through Nrf2-, NF -kB-, and p38 MAPK-dependent signaling pathways and serves as an upstreamregulator of VEGF. IL-6 expression is regulated by NF-jB and JNKs. In conclusion, oxidative stress may be associated with arsenic-induced cytotoxicity and endothelial gene up-regulation, but signaling transduction dominates the direct effects of ROS.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis