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Keywords:

  • cadmium;
  • cytoskeleton;
  • endothelial cells;
  • nitric oxide;
  • nitric oxide donor

Abstract

Cadmium targets the vascular endothelium causing endothelial dysfunction and leakiness of endothelial barrier. Nitric oxide plays a major role in mediating endothelial functions including angiogenesis, migration and permeability. The present study investigates the nitric oxide effects on cadmium induced endothelial leakiness. Results of ex vivo and in vitro permeability assays showed that even a sub-lethal dose of cadmium chloride (1 µM) was sufficient to induce leakiness of endothelial cells. Cadmium drastically altered the actin polymerisation pattern and membrane tension of these cells compared to controls. Addition of nitric oxide donor Spermine NONOate (SP) significantly blunted cadmium-mediated effects and recover endothelial cells integrity. Cadmium-induced cytoskeletal rearrangements and membrane leakiness are associated with the low nitric oxide availability and high reactive oxygen species generation. In brief, we show the protective role of nitric oxide against cadmium-mediated endothelial leakiness.