Sodium nitroprusside activates p38 mitogen activated protein kinase through a cGMP/PKG independent mechanism
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The objective of this study was to understand the mechanism of action of nitric oxide (NO) in the heart by determining whether nitric oxide (NO) released from sodium nitroprusside (SNP) induces p38 mitogen activated protein kinase (p38 MAPK) phosphorylation and whether this is mediated through a cyclic GMP (cGMP)/protein kinase G (PKG) pathway. p38 MAPK activation was examined by Western blotting of whole cell lysates of embryonic chick cardiomyocytes with antibodies specific to the native or phosphorylated forms of p38 MAPK. SNP, 1 mM, which released significant amounts of NO as determined by Griess reaction, induced p38 MAPK phosphorylation that was apparent within 10 min, was significantly (p<0.05) greater than control at 60 min and remained higher than initial levels up to the 4 h end point of the experiment. This could not be attributed to hydrogen peroxide release from SNP as catalase did not affect SNP-induced p38 MAPK phosphorylation. SB202190, a relatively selective inhibitor of p38 MAPK, mainly p38alpha MAPK, inhibited SNP-induced p38 MAPK phosphorylation. SNP-induced p38 MAPK phosphorylation was not altered by pre-treatment with the PKG inhibitor KT 5823 or by ODQ a potent and selective inhibitor of NO-sensitive guanylyl cyclase. p38 MAPK phosphorylation was not induced by the cell permeable cGMP analogue, 8-Br-cGMP. In summary, considering that new therapeutic strategies aimed at NO and p38 MAPK are being considered for myocardial injury and heart failure, these data demonstrate that SNP induces p38 MAPK phosphorylation through a pathway that is independent of NO-induced activation of cGMP/PKG pathways and suggest that non cGMP/PKG regulatory proteins leading to p38 MAPK phosphorylation merit further investigation to address this therapeutic target.
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