Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Exp Med. 1999 Feb 15;189(4):741-6.

Macrophage microbicidal mechanisms in vivo: reactive nitrogen versus oxygen intermediates in the killing of intracellular visceral Leishmania donovani.

Author information

  • 1Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology-Oncology, Cornell University Medical College, New York 10021, USA.


To determine the relative contributions of respiratory burst-derived reactive oxygen intermediates (ROI) versus reactive nitrogen intermediates (RNI) to macrophage-mediated intracellular host defense, mice genetically deficient in these mechanisms were challenged with Leishmania donovani, a protozoan that selectively parasitizes visceral tissue macrophages. During the early stage of liver infection at wk 2, both respiratory burst-deficient gp91(phox)-/- (X-linked chronic granulomatous disease [X-CGD]) mice and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) knockout (KO) mice displayed comparably increased susceptibility. Thereafter, infection was unrestrained in mice lacking iNOS but was fully controlled in X-CGD mice. Mononuclear cell influx into infected liver foci in X-CGD and iNOS KO mice was also overtly impaired at wk 2. However, granuloma assembly in parasitized tissue eventually developed in both hosts but with divergent effects: mature granulomas were functionally active (leishmanicidal) in X-CGD mice but inert in iNOS-deficient animals. These results suggest that (a) ROI and RNI probably act together in the early stage of intracellular infection to regulate both tissue recruitment of mononuclear inflammatory cells and the initial extent of microbial replication, (b) RNI alone are necessary and sufficient for eventual control of visceral infection, and (c) although mature granulomas have traditionally been associated with control of such infections, these structures fail to limit intracellular parasite replication in the absence of iNOS.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk