Release of nitric oxide from endothelial cells stimulated by YC-1, an activator of soluble guanylyl cyclase

Br J Pharmacol. 1999 Nov;128(6):1316-22. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjp.0702921.


1 In this study we examined the endothelium-dependent effect of YC-1 - a benzyl indazole derivative which directly activates soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) - on vascular relaxation and nitric oxide (NO) and guanosine-3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cyclic GMP) in endothelial cells. 2 In preconstricted rat aortic rings with intact endothelium, YC-1 produced a concentration-dependent relaxation. However, the concentration response curve was shifted rightward to higher concentrations of YC-1, when (i) the aortas were pre-treated with L-NG-nitroarginine methylester (L-NAME) or (ii) the endothelium was removed. 3 Incubation of bovine aortic endothelial cells (BAEC) with YC-1 produced a concentration-dependent NO synthesis and release as assessed using a porphyrinic microsensor. Pre-incubating cells with L-NAME or with 8-bromo-cyclic GMP decreased this effect indicating that the YC-1 stimulation of NO synthesis is due to an activation of nitric oxide synthase, but not to an elevation of cyclic GMP. No direct effect of YC-1 on recombinant endothelial constitutive NO synthase activity was observed. 4 The YC-1 stimulated NO release was reduced by 90%, when extracellular free calcium was diminished. 5 In human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC), YC-1 stimulated intracellular cyclic GMP production in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. Stimulation of cyclic GMP was greater with a maximum concentration of YC-1 compared to calcium ionophore A23187. Similar effects were observed in BAEC and rat microvascular coronary endothelial cells (RMCEC). 6 When HUVEC and RMCEC were pre-treated with L-NG-nitroarginine (L-NOARG), the maximum YC-1 stimulated cyclic GMP increase was reduced by >/=50%. 7 These results indicate, that beside being a direct activator of sGC, YC-1 stimulates a NO-synthesis and release in endothelial cells which is independent of elevation of cyclic GMP but strictly dependent on extracellular calcium. The underlying mechanism needs to be determined further.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aorta, Thoracic / drug effects
  • Aorta, Thoracic / physiology
  • Bradykinin / pharmacology
  • Calcimycin / pharmacology
  • Cattle
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cyclic GMP / metabolism
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Endothelium, Vascular / cytology
  • Endothelium, Vascular / drug effects*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism
  • Enzyme Activation / drug effects
  • Guanylate Cyclase / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Indazoles / pharmacology*
  • Ionophores / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Muscle Relaxation / drug effects
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / drug effects
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / physiology
  • NG-Nitroarginine Methyl Ester / pharmacology
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism*
  • Nitroarginine / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Solubility
  • Time Factors


  • Indazoles
  • Ionophores
  • 3-(5'-hydroxymethyl-2'-furyl)-1-benzylindazole
  • Nitroarginine
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Calcimycin
  • Guanylate Cyclase
  • Cyclic GMP
  • Bradykinin
  • NG-Nitroarginine Methyl Ester