1887

Abstract

By using mice with a targetted disruption in the gene encoding inducible nitric-oxide synthase (iNOS), we have studied the role of nitric oxide (NO) in lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV)-induced, T cell-mediated protective immunity and immunopathology. The afferent phase of the T cell-mediated immune response was found to be unaltered in iNOS-deficient mice compared with wild-type C57BL/6 mice, and LCMV- induced general immunosuppression was equally pronounced in both strains. analysis revealed identical kinetics of virus clearance, as well as unaltered clinical severity of systemic LCMV infection in both strains. Concerning the outcome of intracerebral infection, no significant differences were found between iNOS-deficient and wild-type mice in the number or composition of mononuclear cells found in the cerebrospinal fluid on day 6 post-infection. Likewise, NO did not influence the up-regulation of proinflammatory cytokine/chemokine genes significantly, nor did it influence the development of fatal meningitis. However, a reduced virus-specific delayed-type hypersensitivity reaction was observed in iNOS-deficient mice compared with both IFN-γ-deficient and wild-type mice. This might suggest a role of NO in regulating vascular reactivity in the context of T cell-mediated inflammation. In conclusion, these findings indicate a minimal role for iNOS/NO in the host response to LCMV. Except for a reduced local oedema in the knockout mice, iNOS/NO seems to be redundant in controlling both the afferent and efferent phases of the T cell-mediated immune response to LCMV infection.

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1999-11-01
2019-10-20
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