Inflammation of the Human Dental Pulp Induces Phosphorylation of eNOS at Thr495 in Blood Vessels

Biomedicines. 2022 Jul 3;10(7):1586. doi: 10.3390/biomedicines10071586.


The activity of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) in endothelial cells increased with the phosphorylation of the enzyme at Ser1177 and decreased at Thr495. The regulation of the phosphorylation sites of eNOS at Ser1177 and Thr495 in blood vessels of the healthy and inflamed human dental pulp is unknown. To investigate this, healthy and carious human third molars were immersion-fixed and decalcified. The localization of eNOS, Ser1177, and Thr495 in healthy and inflamed blood vessels was examined in consecutive cryo-sections using quantitative immunohistochemical methods. We found that the staining intensity of Ser1177 in healthy blood vessels decreased in inflamed blood vessels, whereas the weak staining intensity of Thr495 in healthy blood vessels strongly increased in inflamed blood vessels. In blood vessels of the healthy pulp, eNOS is active with phosphorylation of the enzyme at Ser1177. The phosphorylation of eNOS at Thr495 in inflamed blood vessels leads to a decrease in eNOS activity, contributing to eNOS uncoupling and giving evidence for a decrease in NO and an increase in O2- production. Since the formation of the tertiary dentin matrix depends on intact pulp circulation, eNOS uncoupling and phosphorylation of eNOS at Thr495 in the inflamed pulp blood vessels should be considered during caries therapy.

Keywords: Ser1177; Thr495; caries; dental pulp; inflammation; oxidative stress; peroxynitrite; phosphorylation of eNOS; superoxide; uncoupled eNOS.

Grant support

This research received no external funding.