Endothelial LAT1 (SLC7A5) Mediates S-Nitrosothiol Import and Modulates Respiratory Sequelae of Red Blood Cell Transfusion In Vivo.



 Increased adhesivity of red blood cells (RBCs) to endothelial cells (ECs) may contribute to organ dysfunction in malaria, sickle cell disease, and diabetes. RBCs normally export nitric oxide (NO)-derived vascular signals, facilitating blood flow. S-nitrosothiols (SNOs) are thiol adducts formed in RBCs from precursor NO upon the oxygenation-linked allosteric transition in hemoglobin. RBCs export these vasoregulatory SNOs on demand, thereby regulating regional blood flow and preventing RBC-EC adhesion, and the large (system L) neutral amino acid transporter 1 (LAT1; SLC7A5) appears to mediate SNO export by RBCs.


 To determine the role of LAT1-mediated SNO import by ECs generally and of LAT1-mediated SNO import by ECs in RBC SNO-dependent modulation of RBC sequestration and blood oxygenation in vivo, we engineered LAT1fl/fl; Cdh5-Cre+ mice, in which the putative SNO transporter LAT1 can be inducibly depleted (knocked down, KD) specifically in ECs ("LAT1ECKD").


 We show that LAT1 in mouse lung ECs mediates cellular SNO uptake. ECs from LAT1ECKD mice (tamoxifen-induced LAT1fl/fl; Cdh5-Cre+) import SNOs poorly ex vivo compared with ECs from wild-type (tamoxifen-treated LAT1fl/fl; Cdh5-Cre-) mice. In vivo, endothelial depletion of LAT1 increased RBC sequestration in the lung and decreased blood oxygenation after RBC transfusion.


 This is the first study showing a role for SNO transport by LAT1 in ECs in a genetic mouse model. We provide the first direct evidence for the coordination of RBC SNO export with EC SNO import via LAT1. SNO flux via LAT1 modulates RBC-EC sequestration in lungs after transfusion, and its disruption impairs blood oxygenation by the lung.






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Publication Info

Zhu, Hongmei, Richard L Auten, Augustus Richard Whorton, Stanley Nicholas Mason, Cheryl B Bock, Gary T Kucera, Zachary T Kelleher, Aaron T Vose, et al. (2024). Endothelial LAT1 (SLC7A5) Mediates S-Nitrosothiol Import and Modulates Respiratory Sequelae of Red Blood Cell Transfusion In Vivo. Thrombosis and haemostasis. 10.1055/s-0044-1782182 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/30457.

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Timothy Joseph McMahon

Professor of Medicine

The McMahon Lab at Duke University and Durham VA Medical Center is investigating novel roles of the red blood cell (RBC) in the circulation. The regulated release of the vasodilator SNO (a form of NO, nitric oxide) by RBCs within the respiratory cycle in mammals optimizes nutrient delivery at multiple levels, especially in the lung (gas exchange) and the peripheral microcirculation (O2 transport to tissues). Deficiency of RBC SNO bioactivity (as in human RBCs banked for transfusion), for example, appears to contribute to the serious lung and circulatory problems associated with RBC transfusion in some settings. We have also demonstrated benefit in the use of treatments that exploit RBCs as a vehicle for delivery of SNOs, in both human patients and in model animals.

RBCs also release ATP in response to stimuli including deformation and hypoxia, and the exported ATP also participates in the maintenance of a healthy circulation, according to mechanisms that we are now unraveling.

We use basic and translational approaches to understand the molecular mechanisms by which these RBC-derived signals effect circulatory changes in human health and disease, particularly in the lung. Disease states driving this research include acute and chronic lung diseases such as sepsis (severe infection, such as COVID-19), transfusion-related respiratory problems, sickle cell disease, and pulmonary hypertension of adults and newborns.

Funding: VA and NIH.

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