In the present study we examined the effect of reactive oxygen metabolites (generated by the xanthine-xanthine oxidase system), on adenosine-3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cyclic AMP) and guanosine-3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cyclic GMP) content in glomeruli and tubules that were isolated from rat renal cortex. Xanthine (0.1 mM)-xanthine oxidase (0.025 U/ml) significantly increased (P less than 0.001) the cyclic AMP content in glomeruli from 18 +/- 1 to 50 +/- 4 pmol/mg protein (n = 13). The response was dose dependent and was markedly inhibited (delta %-74 +/- 9, n = 3) by allopurinol (10(-3), a specific inhibitor of xanthine oxidase. Cyclic AMP content in the tubules, and the cyclic GMP content in glomeruli and tubules, were not altered by the xanthine-xanthine oxidase system. This lack of response was not due to lack of responsiveness of the tissues because parathyroid hormone caused a marked increase in the cyclic AMP content in tubules, and nitroprusside markedly increased the cyclic GMP content in glomeruli. The increase in cyclic AMP in glomeruli was due to generation of reactive oxygen metabolites rather than of other products (e.g. uric acid) of the xanthine-xanthine oxidase reaction--addition of uric acid to incubations had no effect; using another substrate for xanthine oxidase, acetaldehyde significantly increased (delta % 112 +/- 7, n = 4, P less than 0.001) the cyclic AMP content; and catalase that destroys hydrogen peroxide caused a marked inhibition (delta % -90 +/- 5, n = 4) of the response to xanthine-xanthine oxidase. The marked inhibition by catalase, and the lack of effect of superoxide dismutase (in a concentration that completely scavenged superoxide) suggested hydrogen peroxide as the responsible oxygen metabolite for the observed effect. Glucose-glucose oxidase (a system that directly generates hydrogen peroxide), and direct addition of hydrogen peroxide caused a dose-dependent increase in the cyclic AMP content in glomeruli, which further supports the role of hydrogen peroxide as the responsible species for the observed effect. Additional experiments that used prostaglandin synthesis inhibitors and antagonists of serotonin and histamine suggested that hydrogen peroxide increases cyclic AMP content in glomeruli by enhancing prostaglandin synthesis.
S V Shah