* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received April 28, 2004; Revision received July 16, 2004
In alkaline media the thiamine cyclic form is converted into a thiol form (pKa 9.2) with an opened thiazole ring. The thiamine thiol form releases nitric oxide from S-nitrosoglutathione (GSNO). Thiamine disulfide, mixed thiamine disulfide with glutathione, and nitric oxide are produced in the reaction. Free glutathione was recorded in small amounts. The concentration of formed nitric oxide agreed well with the concentration of degraded GSNO. The concentration of released nitric oxide was determined under anaerobic conditions spectrophotometrically by production of nitrosohemoglobin. In air, the release of nitric oxide was recorded by the production of nitrite or the oxidation of oxyhemoglobin to methemoglobin. The concentration of the thiol form in the body under physiological pH values (7.2-7.4) did not exceed 1.5-2.0%. We believe that due to the exchange reactions between the thiamine thiol form and S-nitrosocysteine protein residues, nitric oxide can be released and mixed thiamine-protein disulfides are formed. The mixed thiamine disulfides (including thiamine ester disulfides) as well as the thiamine disulfide form are quite easily reduced by low molecular weight thiols to form the thiamine cyclic form with a closed thiazole ring. A possible role of the thiamine thiol form in releasing deposited nitric oxide from low-molecular-weight S-nitrosothiols and protein S-nitrosothiols and in regulation of blood flow in the vascular bed is discussed.
KEY WORDS: thiamine thiol form, nitric oxide, S-nitrosoglutathione, thiamine disulfide, thiochrome, nitrosohemoglobin, nitrite