Glutathione transferase activity in human vessels and in cultured arterial smooth muscle cells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Glutathione transferases play an important role in the detoxification of many different endogeneous and exogenous compounds such as metabolites of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) of cigarette tar. There is evidence that PAH may be atherogenic. The glutathione transferase activity towards trans-stilbene oxide (GST-tSBO) can be separated in blood in GST-positive and GST-negative phenotypes. We have previously suggested that the GST-negative phenotype may be associated with a higher morbidity in intermittent claudication among middle aged smokers. In the present study, GST-tSBO could easily be measured in human, rabbit and bovine arterial smooth muscle cells (SMC) in culture. The level of GST-tSBO was higher in rabbit than in bovine SMC. It was stable in bovine SMC during 5 cell passages and it could be induced twofold by long-time incubation with dimethylsulfoxide-soluble particulate matter from cigarette smoke or 3,4-benzo(a)pyrene. There was a positive correlation between the level of GST-tSBO in blood and in "healthy" arterial and venous tissue from individuals operated with coronary bypass. The enzyme levels in arterial tissue were lower than in venous tissue. GST-tSBO in atherosclerotic segments of human arteries was lower than in "healthy" segments from the same artery. These findings suggest that the arterial wall may have a low defense against toxic compounds that may decrease further as atherosclerosis proceeds. It is concluded that SMC are suitable for the study of the effects of PAH in relation to GST-tSBO and that the enzyme activity in blood will reflect the individual GST-tSBO phenotype also in vascular tissues.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems


  • Adult, Animals, Arteriosclerosis, Cattle, Cells, Cultured, Female, Glutathione Transferase, Humans, In Vitro Techniques, Male, Middle Aged, Muscle, Smooth, Vascular, Phenotype, Polycyclic Compounds, Rabbits, Smoking, Stilbenes, Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-54
JournalInternational Angiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1993 Dec
Publication categoryResearch