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Arch Dermatol Res. 1999 Jan;291(1):54-8.

Ketoconazole inhibits lipopolysaccharide-induced activation of the nitric oxide synthase gene in the murine macrophage cell line J774.

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Istituto di Clinica, Dermosifilopatica, Facolt√° di Medicina e Chirurgia, II Universit√° degli Studi di Napoli, Naples, Italy.


The aim of this study was to determine whether ketoconazole can affect the expression of the nitric oxide (NO) synthase gene in the murine macrophage cell line J774. The inducible enzyme (i-NOS) is activated in murine macrophages by LPS and cytokines. Exposure of the J774 cell line to ketoconazole for 24 h did not induce any NO release. Cells preincubated with ketoconazole and treated with LPS showed a significant decrease in nitrite levels in the culture medium, compared with controls (cells treated with LPS alone). The addition of 1 mM N-monomethyl-L-arginine (L-NMMA), a structural analogue of arginine, reduced nitrite levels by about 88+/-9.2% in cells treated with LPS alone, whereas in those treated with ketoconazole + LPS, the levels were comparable to the baseline values detected in control cells. Northern blotting, used to assess i-NOS mRNA expression in the J774 cells, showed that ketoconazole reduced the LPS-induced increase in i-NOS mRNA activation by about 50%. These results support another mechanism for the antiinflammatory effect of ketoconazole (i.e. reduction in i-NOS gene expression and consequently inhibition of reactive radical NO production), that may explain the antierythema and antiedema action of this compound, besides its antimycotic effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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