Experimental evidence has shown that plasma fibrinogen plays a key role as a major cardiovascular risk factor, acting directly to trigger erythrocyte aggregation in occlusive vascular disease. However, due to the complex and hitherto unclear interaction between fibrinogen and the erythrocyte membrane, no study has yet evaluated the effects of fibrinogen, under physiological range values, on the erythrocyte nitric oxide (NO) mobilization. Taking into consideration the potential NO-derived molecules, we have raised the hypothesis that fibrinogen, under physiological conditions, may act to influence blood flow via erythrocyte NO modulation. In this in vitro study whole-blood samples were harvested from healthy subjects, erythrocyte suspensions were incubated in the absence (control aliquots) and presence of different fibrinogen concentrations and levels of NO, nitrite, nitrate and S-nitroglutathione (GSNO) were determined. Our results showed, when compared with control aliquots, that the presence of fibrinogen modulates the NO mobilization in erythrocytes by (1) decreasing erythrocyte NO efflux levels (P < 0.001); (2) increasing levels of intraerythrocytic NO oxidative metabolites, namely, nitrite (P < 0.0001) and nitrate (P < 0.0001); and (3) enhancing the formation of GSNO (P < 0.001). In conclusion, this study provides new insights into an unknown mechanism by which fibrinogen modulates the erythrocyte capacity to supply NO, the effects of which on inflammation profiles (generally associated with blood hyperviscosity and hyperaggregation) still need to be elucidated. Also, increased erythrocyte GSNO levels may be associated with platelet NO metabolism, its activation status and hypotension, which may be extremely relevant in the clinical setting as biomarkers.
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 7, 2009
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