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  • Poster presentation
  • Open Access

Nitroxyl, the novel redox sibling of NO, suppresses cerebrovascular NADPH oxidase

  • 1Email author,
  • 1,
  • 1,
  • 2,
  • 1 and
  • 1
BMC Pharmacology20099(Suppl 1):P31

Published: 11 August 2009


  • Nitric Oxide
  • Antioxidant Action
  • Angiotensin
  • Cerebral Artery
  • Xanthine


Nitroxyl (HNO), the reduced and protonated congener of nitric oxide (NO), is emerging as a novel entity with distinct pharmacology and therapeutic advantages over NO [1]. Importantly, HNO has vasoprotective actions with the potential to serve as an antioxidant. Here we explored the ability of HNO to modulate cerebrovascular NADPH oxidase activity, a major source of superoxide (.O2-) in the vasculature.

Materials and methods

Intracranial (pooled middle cerebral and basilar) and extracranial (carotid) cerebral arteries from male C57BL/6J mice were treated with angiotensin II (10 nM) acutely (30 min) and chronically (24 h), respectively, in the absence and presence of the HNO donor, Angeli's salt (AS). NADPH (100 μM)-stimulated .O2- production was then measured using lucigenin (5 μM)-enhanced chemiluminescence.


AS (1 μM) did not scavenge .O2- generated in a cell free xanthine (100 μM)/xanthine oxidase (0.05 U/ml) activity assay (control: 447.9 ± 90.8; AS 507.1 ± 113.3 counts, n = 4). In contrast, acute and chronic treatment with AS (0.01–1 μM) caused a concentration-dependent decrease in NADPH oxidase-derived .O2- production by intracranial and extracranial cerebral arteries, respectively (carotid 0.59 ± 0.05; AS 0.1 μM 0.33 ± 0.08; AS 1 μM 0.16 ± 0.03 103 counts/s/mg, P < 0.05, n = 8). The effects of AS were reversed by the HNO scavenger, L-cysteine (3 mM) but unchanged in the presence of the NO scavenger carboxy-PTIO (200 μM) and sGC inhibitor, ODQ (10 μM).


HNO suppresses vascular NADPH-oxidase activity both acutely and chronically, possibly via a cGMP-independent mechanism. Such antioxidant actions of HNO may confer therapeutic advantages in the treatment of cerebrovascular disorders.

Authors’ Affiliations

Department of Pharmacology, Monash University, Clayton, Australia
Baker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute, Heart Failure Pharmacology, Melbourne, Australia


  1. Irvine JC, Ritchie RH, Favaloro JL, Andrews KL, Widdop RE, Kemp-Harper BK: Nitroxyl (HNO): the Cinderella of the nitric oxide story. Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2008, 29: 601-8. 10.1016/ ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar


© Kemp-Harper et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2009

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.