Tetrahydrobiopterin is an essential cofactor for nitric oxide synthase (NOS). This study was undertaken to examine the effects of intraperitoneally injected lipopolysaccharide on tetrahydrobiopterin biosynthesis in murine white and brown adipose tissues. Tetrahydrobiopterin content, catalytic activity and mRNA expression level of GTP cyclohydrolase I (GCH), rate-controlling enzyme in de novo biosynthesis of tetrahydrobiopterin, in both adipose tissues were up-regulated by 500-μg lipopolysaccharide at 6 h after the injection. On the contrary, treatment of 3T3-L1 adipocytes with lipopolysaccharide alone did not affect GCH mRNA expression level, whereas the combination of lipopolysaccharide, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and interferon γ induced the increase in expression levels of GCH mRNA and CD14 mRNA. Collectively, our results showed that tetrahydrobiopterin biosynthesis can be augmented by increased GCH activity caused by a synergistic effect of lipopolysaccharide and cytokines in white and brown adipose tissues. These observations support the view that tetrahydrobiopterin biosynthesis in the adipose tissues is a target of inflammatory events triggered by peripheral LPS injection.
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