Kinins are important vasoactive peptides, but the role of the B1 receptor subtype in the vascular control is poorly understood. This study analyzed the nitric oxide (NO) release, L-arginine (L-Arg) uptake and the expression of the cationic amino acid transporter (CAT) -1 in endothelial cells obtained from B1 receptor knockout (B1-/-) and wild type (WT) mice. NO production was assessed through a fluorescent dye in living cells stimulated with acetylcholine. L-Arg uptake was determined indirectly in the culture medium by HPLC, in the presence or absence of the CAT-1 blocker N-ethylmaleimide (NEM). CAT-1 mRNA levels and protein expression were determined by qPCR and western blot, respectively. NO release was significantly reduced in B1-/- when compared to WT cells. This result was accompanied by a decreased rate in the L-Arg uptake by B1-/- cells. Incubation with NEM impaired the L-Arg uptake in WT, but had no effect in B1-/- cells. Protein expression and mRNA levels for CAT-1 were reduced in B1-/- in comparison to WT cells. These findings suggest an important role of the endothelial B1 receptor in the vascular control by interfering with CAT-1 expression, L-Arg uptake and NO release
Keywords: B1 receptor, endothelial cells, L-arginine, CAT-1, nitric oxide, knockout mice.
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