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Heme Oxygenase-1 Induction In Skeletal Muscle Cells: Hemin And Sodium Nitroprusside Are Regulators In Vitro

M. J. J. Vesely, D. J. Exon, J. E. Clark, R. Foresti, C. J. Green, R. Motterlini

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The heat shock protein heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) is regulated by a variety of physiological and pharmacological factors. In skeletal muscle tissue, HO-1 has been shown to be induced only by exercise and electrical stimulation in vivo. Both hemin and sodium nitroprusside (SNP) are potent inducers of HO-1 in other tissues. In this study, we examined the effects of these two agents on HO-1 induction in L6.G8 rat skeletal myoblast cells. Hemin and SNP increased cellular heme oxygenase activity in both a time- and concentration-dependent manner. Increases in the HO-1 mRNA level and protein expression accompanied changes in heme oxygenase activity. The ability of SNP to induce HO-1 in L6.G8 cells was reduced by coincubation with hydroxocobalamin, a known nitric oxide (NO) scavenger, suggesting that NO itself may be involved in HO-1 gene stimulation. These results indicate that HO-1 expression is sensitive to both hemin and SNP in skeletal myoblast cells and may indicate an important regulatory mechanism of heme catabolism in skeletal muscle tissue.