Published online Mar 21, 2006. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v12.i11.1730
Revised: October 21, 2005
Accepted: November 10, 2005
Published online: March 21, 2006
AIM: To study the expression of endothelial and inducible nitric oxide synthases (eNOS and iNOS) and their role in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
METHODS: We examined the effect of sera obtained from patients with active Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) on the function and viability of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). HUVECs were cultured for 0-48 h in the presence of a medium containing pooled serum of healthy controls, or serum from patients with active CD or UC. Expression of eNOS and iNOS was visualized by immunofluorescence, and quantified by the densitometry of Western blots. Proliferation activity was assessed by computerized image analyses of Ki-67 immunoreactive cells, and also tested in the presence of the NOS inhibitor, 10-4 mol/L L-NAME. Apoptosis and necrosis was examined by the annexin-V-biotin method and by propidium iodide staining, respectively.
RESULTS: In HUVEC immediately after exposure to UC, serum eNOS was markedly induced, reaching a peak at 12 h. In contrast, a decrease in eNOS was observed after incubation with CD sera and the eNOS level was minimal at 20 h compared to control (18% ± 16% vs 23% ± 15% P<0.01). UC or CD serum caused a significant increase in iNOS compared to control (UC: 300% ± 21%; CD: 275% ± 27% vs 108% ± 14%, P<0.01). Apoptosis/necrosis characteristics did not differ significantly in either experiment. Increased proliferation activity was detected in the presence of CD serum or after treatment with L-NAME. Cultures showed tube-like formations after 24 h treatment with CD serum.
CONCLUSION: IBD sera evoked changes in the ratio of eNOS/iNOS, whereas did not influence the viability of HUVEC. These involved down-regulation of eNOS and up-regulation of iNOS simultaneously, leading to increased proliferation activity and possibly a reduced anti-inflammatory protection of endothelial cells.