Nitric oxide regulates monocyte chemotactic protein-1

Philip S. Tsao, Bing Yin Wang, Ricardo Buitrago, John Y.J. Shyy, John P. Cooke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

193 Scopus citations


Background: Monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1) is a 76-amino-acid chemokine thought to be the major chemotactic factor for monocytes. We and others have demonstrated that NO inhibits monocyte-endothelial cell interactions and atherogenesis. We hypothesize that the antiatherogenic effect of NO may be due in part to its inhibition of MCP-1 expression. Methods and Results: Smooth muscle cells (SMCs) were isolated from normal rabbit aortas by the explant method. Cells were then exposed to LPS (10 μg/mL), native LDL, or oxidized LDL (30 μg/mL) for 6 hours. The expression of MCP-1 in SMCs and chemotactic activity in the conditioned medium were induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or by oxidized LDL but not native LDL. The induction of MCP-1 by cytokines or oxidized lipoproteins was associated with an increased generation of superoxide anion by the SMCs and increased activity of the transcriptional protein nuclear factor-κB (NFκB). The induced expression of MCP-1 and activation of NFκB were reduced by previous exposure of the SMCs to the NO donor DETA-NONOate (100 μmol/L) (P<.05). To determine whether NO exerted its effect at a transcriptional level, SMCs and COS cells were transfected with a 400-bp fragment of the MCP-1 promoter. Promoter activity was enhanced by oxidized LDL, and LPS was inhibited by DETA-NO. Nuclear run-on assays confirmed that the effect of NO occurred at a transcriptional level. To investigate the role of endogenous NO in the regulation of MCP-1 in vivo, New Zealand White rabbits were fed normal chow, normal chow plus nitro-L-arginine (LNA), high-cholesterol diet (Chol), or high-cholesterol diet supplemented with L-arginine (Arg). After 2 weeks, thoracic aortas were harvested and total RNA was isolated. Northern analysis using full-length MCP-1 cDNA demonstrated increased expression in Chol and LNA aortas; this expression was decreased in aortas from Arg animals. Conclusions: These studies indicate that the antiatherogenic effect of NO may be mediated in part by its inhibition of MCP-1 expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)934-940
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 5 1997


  • Cholesterol
  • Muscle, smooth
  • Nitric oxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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