Acrolein a major environmental pollutant classified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a high-priority air/water toxic and an endogenous peroxidation product has been linked to impaired vascular reactivity, leading to atherosclerotic changes at concentrations documented in human disease, or doses similar to human oral total aldehyde intake. The precise mechanism of acrolein mediated vascular alteration is not clear, but a possible association with an increased superoxide activity and reduced antioxidant defense has been proposed. Atherosclerotic changes in the vasculature are usually preceded by early signs of inflammation. This process involves nitric oxide (NO) and oxygen free radicals. Vascular NAD(P)H oxidase plays an important role as the major source of oxygen free radical generation. Peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma (PPAR?), a nuclear transcription factor, regulates inflammatory response via modulating the transcription of inflammatory genes. PPAR? down regulates NAD(P)H-dependent superoxide generation via transcriptional regulation of gp91phox and p47phox subunits of NAD(P)H oxidase. Inflammatory response is a crucial balance between NO and superoxide, and regulation of vascular response is mostly NO dependent. Therefore, an interaction may persist between PPAR?, NAD(P)H oxidase and NO/nitric oxide synthase (NOS) system in acrolein toxicity. In this study, we hypothesize that acrolein alters PPAR?-dependent regulation of NAD(P)H oxidase, increases superoxide generation and thus offsets the PPAR?,-NAD(P)H,- and NO/NOS-dependent anti-inflammatory responses.
The aims of the study are: (1) To determine the role of PPAR? in acrolein-induced vascular toxicity, (2) To establish the role of PPAR? in NAD(P)H-dependent superoxide generation and (3) To determine the PPAR?,-NAD(P)H,- and NO/NOS-dependent modulation of inflammation in acrolein- induced vascular toxicity. Acrolein treated Sprague-Dawley rats, gp91phox and p47 phox knockout mice, and NOS knockout mice will be utilized to determine changes in blood pressure and vascular responses by telemetry and hemodynamic analysis. NAD(P)H oxidase expression, activity and superoxide generation will be investigated. Inflammatory markers will be investigated by examining IL-2, COX-1, NFkappaB and NOS. This study will allow us to understand the mechanism of acrolein-induced vascular toxicity and thus the inflammatory mechanism of atherosclerosis. Incidents of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are higher in African- Americans and may be partially due to lower socioeconomic status of the minorities and residence in areas with increased exposure to environmental pollutants. This study will broaden our understanding of contribution of environmental pollutants to CVD, and provides information on the possibility of involvement of PPAR?-and NAD(P)H -dependent regulation of inflammatory processes which ultimately will lead to better and more specific treatments for CVD among vulnerable population.

Public Health Relevance

Acrolein, a copious environmental pollutant and a major component of cigarette smoke classified by Environmental Protection Agency as a high-priority air/water toxican, is involved in the development of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, asthma, lung cancer, Alzheimer disease, and multiple sclerosis. Although a possible association between increased superoxide activity and reduced antioxidant defense has been proposed, the specific mechanisms involved are currently unknown. This study hypothesizes an interaction between peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma (PPAR?), a nuclear transcription factor that regulates inflammatory responses, NAD(P)H oxidase, a major source of oxygen free radical generation, and the NO/nitric oxide synthase (NOS) system in acrolein toxicity. Results from this study may generate treatments aiding those with the described chronic diseases above, which are common among children, elderly and minorities who live in more polluted areas.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Research Continuance Award (SC3)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZGM1-TWD-Y (SN))
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Okita, Richard T
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Texas Southern University
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Schools of Allied Health Profes
United States
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