Oxidant-induced damage to the intima of pulmonary and systemic vessels is thought to be an important mechanism of injury in a variety of syndromes of vascular damage. Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is an active oxygen metabolite that may induce intimal injury by cytolytic attack or by inducing biochemical and functional alterations in the endothelial cells (EC); however, mechanisms involved in noncytolytic perturbation of EC are largely unknown. We found that H2O2 stimulated the synthesis of platelet-activating factor (PAF) by primary cultures of bovine pulmonary artery endothelium (BPAEC) and by human umbilical vein endothelium (HUVEC). In each cell type the incorporation of [3H]acetate into [3H-acetyl]PAF was concentration- and time-dependent and was temporally dissociated from severe plasma membrane disruption and cytolytic cell injury; the newly synthesized PAF remained associated with the EC. H2O2 caused permeabilization of EC to 45Ca2+ and an increase in intracellular Ca2+, suggesting that a transmembrane Ca2+ flux is the signal that initiates PAF synthesis. H2O2 also induced the endothelial cell-dependent adhesion of neutrophils to HUVEC monolayers. This response was rapid, with an onset within minutes and a subsequent time course that paralleled the time course of PAF accumulation, and was dependent on extracellular Ca2+ but not on de novo protein synthesis. These studies demonstrate that H2O2 can induce two rapid activation responses of endothelium, PAF synthesis and EC-dependent neutrophil adhesion, events that may be important in physiologic and pathologic inflammation.
M S Lewis, R E Whatley, P Cain, T M McIntyre, S M Prescott, G A Zimmerman