AIMS - Angiotensin II (AngII)-induced superoxide (O2(•-)) production by the NADPH oxidases and mitochondria has been implicated in the pathogenesis of endothelial dysfunction and hypertension. In this work, we investigated the specific molecular mechanisms responsible for the stimulation of mitochondrial O2(•-) and its downstream targets using cultured human aortic endothelial cells and a mouse model of AngII-induced hypertension.
RESULTS - Western blot analysis showed that Nox2 and Nox4 were present in the cytoplasm but not in the mitochondria. Depletion of Nox2, but not Nox1, Nox4, or Nox5, using siRNA inhibits AngII-induced O2(•-) production in both mitochondria and cytoplasm. Nox2 depletion in gp91phox knockout mice inhibited AngII-induced cellular and mitochondrial O2(•-) and attenuated hypertension. Inhibition of mitochondrial reverse electron transfer with malonate, malate, or rotenone attenuated AngII-induced cytoplasmic and mitochondrial O2(•-) production. Inhibition of the mitochondrial ATP-sensitive potassium channel (mitoK(+)ATP) with 5-hydroxydecanoic acid or specific PKCɛ peptide antagonist (EAVSLKPT) reduced AngII-induced H2O2 in isolated mitochondria and diminished cytoplasmic O2(•-). The mitoK(+)ATP agonist diazoxide increased mitochondrial O2(•-), cytoplasmic c-Src phosphorylation and cytoplasmic O2(•-) suggesting feed-forward regulation of cellular O2(•-) by mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS). Treatment of AngII-infused mice with malate reduced blood pressure and enhanced the antihypertensive effect of mitoTEMPO. Mitochondria-targeted H2O2 scavenger mitoEbselen attenuated redox-dependent c-Src and inhibited AngII-induced cellular O2(•-), diminished aortic H2O2, and reduced blood pressure in hypertensive mice.
INNOVATION AND CONCLUSIONS - These studies show that Nox2 stimulates mitochondrial ROS by activating reverse electron transfer and both mitochondrial O2(•-) and reverse electron transfer may represent new pharmacological targets for the treatment of hypertension.