The regulating mechanism of hyperoxia-induced ICAM-1 expression has not been elucidated. We studied the effect of antioxidants, including superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase and N-acetylcysteine (NAC), on hyperoxia-induced ICAM-1 expression in human pulmonary artery endothelial cells (HPAEC) and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). Cells were cultured to confluence and exposed to either hyperoxic or normoxic gas with or without various kinds of antioxidants. The levels of ICAM-1 expression in the endothelial cells and the concentrations of reduced (GSH) and oxidized glutathione (GSSG) in the media were examined by flow cytometry spectrophotometry, respectively. After 48-hour exposure to hyperoxia, ICAM-1 expression was increased HPAEC; 161 ± 21% and HUVEC; 163 ± 16%) and total glutathione concentration in the media was decreased as compared with normoxia. SOD did not change the GSH and GSSG concentrations in the media. Catalase dose-dependently decreased the supernatant GSSG concentration in both HPAEC and HUVEC, while the GSH concentration was nearly constant. NAC dose-dependently increased the supernatant GSH concentrations in both HPAEC and HUVEC. There was no difference in the supernatant GSSG concentrations between the NAC-treated HPAEC and HUVEC. There was no difference in ICAM-1 expression in either HPAEC or HUVEC with SOD treatment. ICAM-1 expressions in 100 U/ml (236 ± 20%) and 1,000 U/ml (315 ± 36%) of catalase were increased in HPAEC, and that in 1,000 U/ml (440 ± 209%) of catalase was increased in HUVEC. Five and 10 U/ml of NAC decreased ICAM-1 expression in HPAEC (141 ± 26% and 113 ± 11%) and HUVEC (119 ± 23% and 106 ± 7%), respectively. These results suggest that extracellular glutathione may play a role in regulating hyperoxia-induced ICAM-1 expression in HPAEC and HUVEC.
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