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Cell Immunol. 2000 Jan 10;199(1):43-9.

Macrophage-derived nitric oxide inhibits the proliferation of activated T helper cells and is induced during antigenic stimulation of resting T cells.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California 90033, USA.


To examine how macrophage-derived nitric oxide (NO) affects T helper (Th) cell activity, T cell clones representing Th1 and Th2 subsets were activated before exposure to stimulated peritoneal macrophages or microglia. Both Th subsets were similarly sensitive to inhibition by NO, indicating that macrophage-derived NO regulates the proliferation of activated Th1 and Th2 cells equally well. Since IFN-gamma production remained intact in NO-treated Th1 cells, we studied whether NO was produced during antigen-specific activation of Th1 cells by unstimulated macrophages. Indeed, T cell proliferation only occurred when a NO synthase inhibitor was included, while IFN-gamma was essential for the induction of NO. These studies demonstrate that macrophages produce NO following antigen presentation to Th1 cells and that macrophage-derived NO inhibits Th1 and Th2 cell proliferation without inhibiting cytokine production.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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