Photochemistry of nitric oxide and S-nitrosothiols in human skin

Milena T Pelegrino, André Paganotti, Amedea B Seabra, Richard Weller

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Nitric oxide (NO) is related to a wide range of physiological processes such as vasodilation, macrophages cytotoxicity and wound healing. The human skin contains NO precursors (NOx). Those are mainly composed of nitrite (NO2-), nitrate (NO3-), and S-nitrosothiols (RSNOs) which forms a large NO store. These NOx stores in human skin can mobilize NO to blood stream upon ultraviolet (UV) light exposure. The main purpose of this study was to evaluate the most effective UV light wavelength to generate NO and compare it to each NO precursor in aqueous solution. In addition, the UV light might change the RSNO content on human skin. First, we irradiated pure aqueous solutions of NO2- and NO3- and mixtures of NO2- and glutathione and NO3- and S-nitrosoglutathione (GSNO) to identify the NO release profile from those species alone. In sequence, we evaluated the NO generation profile on human skin slices. Human skin was acquired from redundant plastic surgical samples and the NO and RSNO measurements were performed using a selective NO electrochemical sensor. The data showed that UV light could trigger the NO generation in skin with a peak at 280-285 nm (UVB range). We also observed a significant RSNO formation in irradiated human skin, with a peak at 320 nm (UV region) and at 700 nm (visible region). Pre-treatment of the human skin slice using NO2- and thiol (RSHs) scavengers confirmed the important role of these molecules in RSNO formation. These findings have important implications for clinical trials with potential for new therapies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHistochemistry and cell biology
Early online date11 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2020

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