Coupling factor 6 as a novel vasoactive and proatherogenic peptide in vascular endothelial cells
Recent studies have shown that long-term in vivo exposure of dogs to neutral sulfur(IV)/sulfite aerosols induces mild inflammatory reactions, whereas the combination of neutral sulfite with acidic sulfur(VI)/sulfate aerosols evokes less pronounced effects. To understand underlying mechanisms, we studied in vitro the role of lipid mediators in the responses of alveolar macrophages (AMs) to sulfur-related compounds under neutral (pH 7) or moderate acidic (pH 6) conditions. Canine AMs incubated with sulfite at pH 7 released threefold higher amounts of platelet-activating factor than control (P < 0.005). Generation of arachidonic acid, leukotriene B4, 5-hydroxy-eicosatetraenoic acid, prostaglandin E2, thromboxane B2 and 12-hydroxyheptadecatrienoic acid increased twofold (P < 0.0005). However, these metabolites remained unchanged following incubation of AMs with sulfite at pH 6 or with sulfate at pH 7 or pH 6. Mediator release by sulfite-treated AMs at pH 7 stimulated respiratory burst activity of neutrophils. Inhibition of MAPK pathway by PD 98059, of cytosolic (cPLA2) and secretory phospholipases A2 by AACOCF3 and thioetheramide-PC, respectively, reduced sulfite-induced eicosanoid formation in AMs. Sulfite activated cPLA2 activity twofold at pH 7. This mechanism of sulfite-stimulated responses in phospholipid metabolism predicts that chronic exposure to sulfur(IV)/sulfite is associated with a considerable health risk.