Objectives: A recent study demonstrated that reactive oxygen species (ROS) were involved in the maintenance of hypertension in stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRSP). However, the role of oxidative stress in hypertension and its related diseases in SHRSP remains unknown. To determine whether phytoestrogens attenuate oxidative DNA damage in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) from SHRSP and Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats, we investigated the effect of daidzein, genistein and resveratrol on oxidative DNA damage in VSMC, induced by advanced glycation end-products (AGEs).
Methods: VSMC were treated with AGEs in the presence or absence of phytoestrogens for the indicated time. Cellular degeneration induced by AGEs was characterized in terms of intracellular oxidant levels, intracellular total glutathione (GSH) levels, mRNA expression for gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase (GCS), and a new marker of oxidative stress, 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) contents.
Results: AGEs stimulated 8-OHdG formation in VSMC in a time- and dose-dependent manner. We also confirmed that VSMC from SHRSP were more vulnerable to oxidative stress induced by AGEs, than VSMC from WKY rats. Daidzein, genistein or resveratrol reduced AGEs-induced 8-OHdG formation in a dose-dependent manner. The preventive effects of phytoestrogens on 8-OHdG formation remarkably paralleled changes in the intracellular oxidant levels in VSMC following AGEs treatment. We further demonstrated that phytoestrogens increase intracellular total GSH level in VSMC. Increased GSH synthesis was due to enhanced expression of the rate-limiting enzyme for GSH synthesis, GCS. Phytoestrogens-stimulated total GSH level in VSMC could lead to decreased intracellular oxidant levels, and thus prevent oxidative DNA damage, induced by AGEs. The phytoestrogens are powerful antioxidants able to interfere with AGEs-mediated oxidative DNA damage of VSMC, and are potentially useful against vascular diseases where ROS are involved in hypertension.