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Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2001 Feb;280(2):L326-33.

Toll-like receptor 4 mediates ozone-induced murine lung hyperpermeability via inducible nitric oxide synthase.

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Department of Environmental Health Sciences, The Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.


We tested the hypotheses that 1) inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) mediates ozone (O3)-induced lung hyperpermeability and 2) mRNA levels of the gene for iNOS (Nos2) are modulated by Toll-like receptor 4 (Tlr4) during O3 exposure. Pretreatment of O3-susceptible C57BL/6J mice with a specific inhibitor of total NOS (N(G)-monomethyl-L-arginine) significantly decreased the mean lavageable protein concentration (a marker of lung permeability) induced by O3 (0.3 parts/million for 72 h) compared with vehicle control mice. Furthermore, lavageable protein in C57BL/B6 mice with targeted disruption of Nos2 [Nos2(-/-)] was 50% less than the protein in wild-type [Nos2(+/+)] mice after O3. To determine whether Tlr4 modulates Nos2 mRNA levels, we studied C3H/HeJ (HeJ) and C3H/HeOuJ mice that differ only at a missense mutation in Tlr4 that confers resistance to O3-induced lung hyperpermeability in the HeJ strain. Nos2 and Tlr4 mRNA levels were significantly reduced and correlated in resistant HeJ mice after O3 relative to those in susceptible C3H/HeOuJ mice. Together, the results are consistent with an important role for iNOS in O3-induced lung hyperpermeability and suggest that Nos2 mRNA levels are mediated through Tlr4.

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