Ethanol inhibits L-arginine uptake and enhances NO formation in human placenta

C. Gloria Acevedo, Gonzalo Carrasco, Mauricio Burotto, Susana Rojas, Ivan Bravo

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42 Scopus citations

Abstract

The acute effects of ethanol (20 - 60 mM) on L-arginine uptake and nitric oxide (NO) formation was investigated in human placental cotyledons perfused at constant flow. Ethanol (40 mM) decreased L-[3H]arginine uptake from 27.6 ± 2.3 to 15.8 ± 1.3 per cent (P< 0.05) of the injected dose and significantly enhanced NO levels in the perfusate from 0.88 ± 0.11 to 2.80 ± 0.39 μM. Ethanol also elicited the constriction of placental vessels. The effects of ethanol (20 - 60 mM) on L-arginine uptake and endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) activity were also investigated in cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). After 60 min of ethanol (40 mM) exposure, basal L-[3H]arginine uptake (4.7 ± 0.3 pmol/μg protein/min) was inhibited by 60 per cent (P< 0.05). Basal eNOS activity in HUVEC determined under "no flow" (static) conditions was significantly increased (∼ 1.8 fold) by 60 mM ethanol. These data are consistent with a stimulatory effect of ethanol on eNOS activity in both basal and flow-stimulated conditions, which may serve a protective role against its vasoconstrictive acute effect. While acute ethanol administration inhibits L-arginine uptake, the present results do not allow us to speculate on the effects of chronic ethanol exposure on NO formation in the fetoplacental unity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2893-2903
Number of pages11
JournalLife Sciences
Volume68
Issue number26
DOIs
StatePublished - May 18 2001
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

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