Molecular adaptation of vascular endothelial cells to oxidative stress

Am J Physiol. 1993 Mar;264(3 Pt 1):C715-22. doi: 10.1152/ajpcell.1993.264.3.C715.


Cellular organisms respond at the cellular and molecular level when confronted with sudden changes in environment, and molecular adaptation represents the ability of the cells to acclimate themselves to their new environment. In this study we examined the response of bovine vascular endothelial cells (VEC) to the oxidative stress by exposing the cultured cells to two different concentrations of H2O2, 0.04 or 0.08 mM, for 18-24 h. H2O2-exposed VEC displayed good viability (85-90% for 0.04 mM H2O2; 75-80% for 0.08 mM H2O2) and exhibited normal morphology. H2O2 treatment of the VEC was associated with the expression of a number of new proteins, as demonstrated by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis of total cell lysate. Cells exposed to 0.04 mM H2O2 expressed 25 new proteins, whereas 19 newly expressed proteins were detected when the cells were exposed to 0.08 mM H2O2. Western blot analysis of H2O2-treated VEC using specific antibodies to heat-shock proteins (HSP) identified one of these proteins as a member of the HSP 70 family. In addition, H2O2 induced an increase in antioxidative enzyme activities in the VEC, including superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase. Moreover, these changes were a truly adaptive phenomenon because challenging the VEC with brief exposure to toxic levels of H2O2 (1 mM for 30 min) showed increased viability (by Trypan blue exclusion test) and decreased injury (by lactate dehydrogenase supernatant-to-cellular ratio determination) in adapted cells (preexposed to 0.04 or 0.08 mM H2O2) compared with control cells.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / drug effects
  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cattle
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Endothelium, Vascular / cytology*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism
  • Heat-Shock Proteins / metabolism
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / pharmacology
  • Oxidants / toxicity*
  • Oxygen / pharmacology*
  • Pulmonary Artery / cytology
  • Pulmonary Artery / metabolism


  • Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Oxidants
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Oxygen