Association between synthesis and release of cGMP and nitric oxide biosynthesis by hepatocytes

T. R. Billiar*, R. D. Curran, B. G. Harbrecht, J. Stadler, D. L. Williams, J. B. Ochoa, M. Di Silvio, R. L. Simmons, S. A. Murray

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations


Hepatocytes are known to synthesize nitric oxide (NO) from L-arginine via an inducible NO synthase. Studies were performed to determine the relationship between hepatocyte NO production and the stimulation of hepatocyte soluble guanylate cyclase. A combination of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), interferon-γ, tumor necrosis factor, and interleukin-1 stimulates the biosynthesis of large quantities of nitrite and nitrate (NO2/- + NO3/-). Hepatocyte NO2/- + NO3/- production was associated with only small increases in intracellular guanosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cGMP) levels but much greater increases in extracellular cGMP release over an 18-h time period. This cGMP synthesis was dependent on the L-arginine concentration and was inhibited in a reversible manner by N(G)-monomethyl-L-arginine. The cytokines or LPS added alone induced small increases in nitrogen oxide production and concomitant minor elevations in cGMP release. Atrial natriuretic peptide also stimulated the release of cGMP by hepatocytes which appeared to be independent of the cytokine + LPS-induced cGMP release. The addition of probenecid reduced the cGMP release by 66%, while cell damage was excluded as a cause for the extracellular release. Addition of 3-isobutyl-1- methylxanthine, but not M and B 22948, increased hepatocyte intra- and extracellular cGMP levels after cytokine + LPS stimulation. Induction of nitrogen oxide synthesis by hepatocytes in vivo by injecting rats with killed Corynebacterium parvum resulted in increased cGMP levels in freshly isolated hepatocytes and increased cGMP release by the hepatocytes when placed in culture. These results demonstrate that the induction of hepatocyte nitrogen oxide biosynthesis results in the chronic stimulation of soluble guanylate cyclase and that in cell culture most of the cGMP exits the cells perhaps via a probenecid-sensitive carrier. These data suggest that NO may act as a messenger molecule for LPS and cytokine-induced cGMP biosynthesis in liver cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)C1077-C1082
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number4 31-4
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • cytokines
  • lipopolysaccharide


Dive into the research topics of 'Association between synthesis and release of cGMP and nitric oxide biosynthesis by hepatocytes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this