Triacylglycerol-mediated oxidative stress inhibits nitric oxide production in rat isolated hepatocytes

Erez Ilan, Oren Tirosh, Zecharia Madar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


This study was designed to evaluate the effects of triacylglycerol (TG) on nitric oxide (NO) production, expression of endothelial (e) and inducible (i) nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and variables related to oxidative stress in rat isolated hepatocytes. Hepatocytes were isolated and exposed to TG in the form of a lipid emulsion (0.01-0.1% LE). Exposure to LE dose dependency decreased nitrite levels. Nitrite levels were inhibited 67% and intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels were increased 250% at 0.1% LE. The decline in nitrite levels was accompanied by 37 and 67% reductions in iNOS and eNOS expressions, respectively. To evaluate whether the increased oxidative stress inhibited NOS synthesis, cells were treated for 48 h with rotenone (a mitochondrial complex 1 inhibitor) or buthionine sulfoximine (a glutathione synthesis inhibitor). Both compounds elevated ROS production, which was followed by inhibition of nitrite production. To determine whether there is an association between LE-mediated ROS production and the inhibition of NO synthesis by the LE, hepatocytes were treated with antioxidants. N-Acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), ascorbate, and resveratrol attenuated the reduction of nitrite levels due to LE alone. NAC inhibited the reductions in eNOS and iNOS transcription and protein levels. Nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), one of the transcription factors involved in eNOS and iNOS transcriptional regulation, was decreased 15% in the nucleus by LE treatment. These results suggest that TG reduces nitrite production by elevating intracellular ROS levels (prolonged oxidative stress), and the downregulation of NOS enzymes may occur at least in part via the NFκB pathway.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2090-2095
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2005


  • Liver
  • Nitric oxide
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Triglyceride


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