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Nitric Oxide. 2000 Aug;4(4):423-30.

Nitric oxide involvement in Drosophila immunity.

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Department of Biology, Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60626, USA.


The augmented production of nitric oxide (NO) was observed during the hemocyte-mediated melanotic encapsulation responses of Drosophila melanogaster and D. teissieri. When introduced into the hemocoel of D. melanogaster larvae, NO activated the gene encoding the antimicrobial peptide Diptericin. These observations, together with previous studies documenting the production of superoxide anion (O(*-)(2)) and H(2)O(2) in immune-challenged Drosophila, provide evidence that reactive intermediates of both oxygen (ROI) and nitrogen (RNI) constitute a part of the cytotoxic arsenal employed by Drosophila in defense against both microbial pathogens and eukaryotic parasites. These ROI and RNI appear to represent an evolutionarily conserved innate immune response that is mediated by regulatory proteins that are homologous to those of mammalian species.

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