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J Neuroimmunol. 1999 Dec;100(1-2):21-35.

Our shifting understanding of the role of nitric oxide in autoimmune encephalomyelitis: a review.

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The Neurosciences Research Unit, The Canberra Hospital, Australia.


Nitric oxide was first described being produced in inflammatory cells involved in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in 1992. Since then some 45 papers have appeared examining the role of NO in this central nervous system autoimmune inflammatory disease. Of the first 10 papers published all resulted in the interpretation that NO was a pathologic or "bad" molecule in the context of EAE. A few papers then began to appear suggesting that NO may not in fact always be a harmful molecule and by the end of 1997 early 1998, 22 papers suggested a destructive role for the molecule while three suggested it was protective. The past two years have seen a significant increase in reports supporting a protective mechanism for NO in EAE such that as of July 1999, 27 papers suggest a destructive and 15 a protective role for NO with a few uncommitted. This review sets out in a more or less chronological order the studies examining the role of NO in EAE and maps our changing understanding of the molecules role in this CNS inflammatory disease and by inference perhaps multiple sclerosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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