Oxidized Hemoglobin Is An Endogenous Proinflammatory Agonist That Targets Vascular Endothelial Cells

Silva G, etc
J. Biol. Chem, 2009

Several pathologic conditions are associated with hemolysis, i.e. release of ferrous (Fe(II)) hemoglobin from red blood cells. Oxidation of cell-free hemoglobin produces (Fe(III)) methemoglobin. More extensive oxidation produces (Fe(III)/Fe(IV) O) ferryl hemoglobin. Both cell-free methemoglobin and ferryl hemoglobin are thought to contribute to the pathogenesis of hemolytic disorders. We show hereby that ferryl hemoglobin, but not hemoglobin or methemoglobin, acts as a potent proinflammatory agonist that induces vascular endothelial cells in vitro to rearrange the actin cytoskeleton, forming intercellular gaps and disrupting the integrity of the endothelial cell monolayer. Furthermore, ferryl hemoglobin induces the expression of proinflammatory genes in endothelial cells in vitro, e.g. E-selectin, Icam-1, and Vcam-1, through the activation of the nuclear factor kappaB family of transcription factors. This proinflammatory effect, which requires actin polymerization, involves the activation of the c-Jun N-terminal kinase and the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase signal transduction pathways. When administered to naïve mice, ferryl hemoglobin induces the recruitment of polymorphonuclear cells, demonstrating that it acts as a proinflammatory agonist in vivo. In conclusion, oxidized hemoglobin, i.e. ferryl hemoglobin, acts as a proinflammatory agonist that targets vascular endothelial cells.

Read more »

J. Biol. Chem
Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência