In addition to the generation from specific nitric-oxide (NO) synthases, NO formation from nitrite occurs in ischemic tissues, such as the heart. Although NO binding to heme-centers is the basis for NO-mediated signaling as occurs through guanylate cyclase, it is not known if this process is triggered with physiologically relevant periods of sublethal ischemia and if nitrite serves as a critical substrate. Therefore electron paramagnetic resonance studies were performed to measure nitrosyl-heme formation during the time course of myocardial ischemia and reperfusion and the role of nitrite in this process. Rat hearts were either partially nitrite-depleted by nitrite-free buffer perfusion or nitrite-enriched by preinfusion with 50 μM nitrite. Ischemic hearts loaded with nitrite showed prominent spectra of six-coordinate nitrosyl-heme complexes, primarily NO-myoglobin, that increased as a function of ischemic duration, whereas in nonischemic-controls these signals were not seen. Total nitrosyl-heme concentrations within the heart were 6.6 ± 0.7 μM after 30 min of ischemia. Nitrite-depleted hearts also gave rise to NO-heme signals during ischemia, but levels were 8-fold lower. Nitrite-mediated NO-heme complex formation during ischemia was associated with activation of guanylate cyclase. Upon reperfusion, the levels of NO-heme complexes decreased 3-fold by the first 15 min but remained elevated for over 45 min. The decrease in NO-heme complex levels was paralleled by the formation of nitrate, suggesting the oxidation of heme-bound NO upon reperfusion. Thus, nitrite-mediated NO-heme formation occurs progressively during ischemia, with these complexes serving as a store of NO with concordant activation of NO signaling pathways.
ASJC Scopus subject areas