Abstract 237: Acute Activation of eNOS by Lovastatin Involves Scavenger Receptor-B1
Statins (HMG CoA reductase inhibitors) have beneficial vascular effects independent of their ability to reduce cholesterol synthesis. We and others have previously shown that statins acutely activate endothelial cell NOS (eNOS). Our present study characterized signaling pathways by which statins activate NOS using cultured bovine aortic endothelial cells (BAEC) and COS 7 cells. It also examined involvement of scavenger receptor - B1 (SR-B1), which is expressed in endothelial cells and maintains caveolae cholesterol concentration and eNOS localization. BAEC were exposed to lovastatin (LOV, 10−6 M) for 2–5 min after pretreatment with the end product of HMG CoA reductase (mevalonic acid, 5×10−4 M), a Gi protein inhibitor (pertussis toxin, 10−4 M), a PLC inhibitor (U-73122, 10−5 M), a receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) inhibitor (tyrphostine 51A, 2×10−6 M) or intracellular and extracellular calcium chelators -BAPTA-AM (10−5 M) and EGTA (10−4 M), respectively, and levels of NO production were determined. LOV alone acutely increased NO production by 67%. NO production in response to LOV was not blocked by mevalonic acid indicating that it occurs independent of HMG CoA reductase inhibition. Inhibition of Gi protein, PLC, and RTK almost completely blocked the LOV-induced NO generation. Removal of extracellular Ca++ prevented statin-induced NO production by 90%, while intracellular Ca++ chelation with BAPTA-AM reduced NO production by 45%. COS 7 cells transfected with eNOS did not show increased NO production to LOV or HDL, indicating NOS activation occurs through an endothelial cell receptor. In COS 7 cells, co-transfected with eNOS and the endothelial SR-B1, LOV or HDL (10−5 M), a known agonist of SR-B1, increased NO production by over 200%. In COS 7 cells transfected with eNOS alone or co-transfected with the bradykinin B2 receptor, neither LOV nor HDL increased NO production, indicating effects specific for the SR-B1 receptor. In conclusion, our study shows LOV acutely activates eNOS independently of HMG CoA reductase inhibition. eNOS activation appears to involve an endothelial Gi protein receptor and subsequent activation of PLC and RTK pathways, leading to entry of extracellular calcium. Furthermore, LOV can activate eNOS via the SR-B1 receptor.