The attenuation of oxidative stress could be an important mechanism whereby the incidence of vascular complications in the MS (metabolic syndrome) may be diminished. The present study was undertaken to investigate the mechanism by which glycine, supplemented to the diet of SF (sucrose-fed) rats, modulates glutathione biosynthesis and protects against oxidative stress and altered endothelium-dependent relaxation in isolated aorta. Glycine reduced O2•− (superoxide anion radical) release in the presence of NADPH, and decreased protein carbonyl and lipid peroxidation. This effect of glycine could be because of the increased amount of glutathione synthetase, which may be responsible for increased glutathione (GSH) content in vascular tissue from SF rats. Moreover, glycine increased the amount of Cu,Zn-SOD (copper/zinc superoxide dismutase) and eNOS (endothelial NO synthase) in aorta from SF animals. Finally, it improved the relaxation response to ACh (acetylcholine) found impaired in aortic rings from SF rats. In the presence of NAC (N-acetylcysteine), a precursor of GSH, an improved ACh-mediated aortic relaxation of aortic rings from SF rats was observed, whereas BSO (buthionine sulfoximine), an inhibitor of glutathione biosynthesis, inhibited the relaxing effect of NAC in aortas from both control and SF rats. This experiment emphasizes the role of GSH in endothelial function in SF rats. The present data suggest that glycine rectifies vascular reactivity by increasing the biosynthesis of glutathione. Glutathione protects vascular tissue against oxidative stress, and enhances the availability of NO, which exerts its relaxing effect, thus contributing to the reduction of high BP (blood pressure) in the SF rats.

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