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Infect Immun. 1998 Sep;66(9):4068-72.

Murine macrophages use oxygen- and nitric oxide-dependent mechanisms to synthesize S-nitroso-albumin and to kill extracellular trypanosomes.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Parasitologie, Université de Bordeaux II, Bordeaux, France.


Reactive nitrogen intermediates were synthesized spontaneously in cultures of macrophages from Trypanosoma brucei brucei-infected mice by an inducible nitric oxide (NO) synthase. This was inhibited by the addition of nitro-L-arginine. In this paper, we report the kinetics of the fixation of macrophage-derived NO on bovine serum albumin by using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. S nitrosylation was confirmed by the Saville reaction, using mercuric chloride. It is known that reactive oxygen intermediates (ROI) are also synthesized by stimulated macrophages. The fact that NO is able to bind cysteine only under aerobic conditions led us to investigate the role of macrophage-derived ROI in the formation of S-nitrosylated proteins by activated macrophages. The immunoenzymatic signal decreased by 66 and 30% when superoxide dismutase and catalase, respectively, were added to the culture medium of macrophages from infected mice. In addition, the decrease in S-nitrosylated albumin formation correlated with the protection of extracellular trypanosomes from the cytostatic and cytotoxic activity of NO. Melatonin, a hydroxyl radical scavenger resulting from the decomposition of peroxynitrous acid, had no effect. All these data support the concept that an interaction between NO and ROI promoted the production of S-nitroso-albumin by activated macrophages from infected mice.

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