2002 年 48 巻 2 号 p. 140-147
The elevation of cellular glutathione (GSH) level induced by low concentrations of an nitric oxide (NO)-donor, sodium nitroprusside (SNP), and its effect on oxidant-induced cell injury were examined in RAW264.7 cells. The cellular GSH level increased 6 hr after exposure of the cells to SNP at low concentrations ranging from 0.1 to 0.5 mM, and the elevation followed the induction of mRNA coding for γ-glutamylcysteine synthetase, the rate-limiting enzyme of the de novo glutathione synthesis pathway. Pre-treatment of cells with low concentration of SNP (less than 0.25 mM) at 12 hr prior to exposure to menadione (MEND), an superoxide anion (O2-)-donor, significantly suppressed the cell injury induced by MEND alone. Simultaneous treatment with a higher concentration of SNP (1.0 mM or more) also blunted the MEND-induced cell injury. Low and high doses of NO both seem to show a preventive effect against oxidant injury: NO may protect against oxidant injury by up-regulating GSH synthesis at low concentrations, while at high concentrations it may directly react with radical oxygen species (ROS), thus acting as a free radical scavenger and blunting oxidant injury. These results suggest that modulation of the cellular glutathione metabolism through intracellular NO is a potential mechanism for enhancing the antioxidant defense of cells.