Nitroso-redox status and vascular function in marginal and severe ascorbate deficiency

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Antioxidants and Redox Signaling


Marginal vitamin C (ascorbic acid) deficiency is a prevalent yet underappreciated risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Along with glutathione, ascorbate plays important roles in antioxidant defense and redox signaling. Production of nitric oxide (NO) and reactive oxygen species and their interaction, giving rise to nitroso and nitrosyl product formation, are key components of the redox regulation/signaling network. Numerous in vitro studies have demonstrated that these systems are interconnected via multiple chemical transformation reactions, but little is known about their dynamics and significance in vivo. Aims: We sought to investigate the time-course of changes in NO/redox status and vascular function during ascorbate depletion in rats unable to synthesize vitamin C. Results: We here show that both redox and protein nitros(yl)ation status in blood and vital organs vary dynamically during development of ascorbate deficiency. Prolonged marginal ascorbate deficiency is associated with cell/tissue-specific perturbations in ascorbate and glutathione redox and NO status. Scurvy develops earlier in marginally deficient compared to adequately supplemented animals, with blunted compensatory NO production and a dissociation of biochemistry from clinical symptomology in the former. Paradoxically, aortic endothelial reactivity is enhanced rather than impaired, irrespective of ascorbate status. Innovation/Conclusion: Enhanced NO production and protein nitros(yl)ation are integral responses to the redox stress of acute ascorbate deprivation. The elevated cardiovascular risk in marginal ascorbate deficiency is likely to be associated with perturbations of NO/redox-sensitive signaling nodes unrelated to the regulation of vascular tone. This new model may have merit for the future study of redox-sensitive events in marginal ascorbate deficiency. © 2012 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

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