The NO-releasing compounds 3-morpholinosydnonimine-N-ethylcarbamide (SIN-1), sodium nitroprusside (SNP) and S-nitroso-N-acetyl-DL-penicillamine (SNAP) mediated a rapid loss of viability of Fu5 rat hepatoma cells. SIN-1 in addition to NO also released the superoxide anion radical (O2-.). Its cytotoxicity, however, was not affected by superoxide dismutase. In contrast, the H2O2-converting enzyme catalase significantly, but not completely, diminished cell damage, indicating participation of H2O2 in the tumoricidal activity of SIN-1. Glucose oxidase (5 m-units/ml), producing similar amounts of H2O2 to 5 mM SIN-1, had no effect on cell viability. When 5 m-units/ml glucose oxidase was added to incubations with 5 mM SNP, which alone initiated cell injury of about 40%, cell damage was significantly increased up to 95%. Similar results were observed with 1 mM SNAP and 20 m-units/ml xanthine oxidase, which mediated cytotoxicity of about 90% when both compounds were added together, compared with 35% and 55% cell injury, respectively, induced by the single compounds. The results indicate that a co-operative action with H2O2 enhances the tumoricidal activity of NO in Fu5 cells. No evidence for an interplay of NO with O2-. in cytotoxicity, e.g. via the peroxynitrite anion (ONOO-), was found.

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