Hypoxia injures endothelial cells by increasing endogenous xanthine oxidase activity.Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1992 Apr 15; 89(8):3362-6.PN
Exposure to decreasing oxygen tensions progressively increased xanthine dehydrogenase (XD) and xanthine oxidase (XO) activities over 48 hr in cultured pulmonary artery endothelial cells (EC) without altering XD/XO ratios. Increases in XD and XO activity in EC induced by hypoxia were associated upon reoxygenation with increased (P less than 0.05) extracellular superoxide anion (O2-.) levels that were inhibited by treatment with XO inhibitors (tungsten, allopurinol) or an anion-channel blocker (4,4'-diisothiocyanatostilbene-2,2'-disulfonic acid). EC monolayers subjected to hypoxia/reoxygenation also leaked more preloaded 51Cr, were more adherent to neutrophils, and permitted greater albumin transit than control monolayers. Treatment with tungsten, allopurinol, and/or superoxide dismutase decreased (P less than 0.05) 51Cr release, neutrophil adherence, and albumin transit in EC monolayers exposed to hypoxia/reoxygenation. We conclude that prolonged hypoxia increases both XO and XD activity in EC and may predispose the endothelium to oxidative and inflammatory damage.