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Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2003 Jul;285(1):G197-206. Epub 2003 Mar 13.

Role for complement in mediating intestinal nitric oxide synthase-2 and superoxide dismutase expression.

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  • 1Center for Experimental Therapeutics and Reperfusion Injury, Dept. of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 75 Francis Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) play an important role in the pathology of ischemia-reperfusion. This study sought to determine if the proinflammatory effects of complement modulate iNOS and SOD in the rat after gastrointestinal ischemia and reperfusion (GI/R). An inhibitory or noninhibitory anti-complement component 5 (C5) monoclonal antibody (18A or 16C, respectively) was administered before GI/R. RT-PCR revealed a significant increase in intestinal iNOS mRNA compared with sham after GI/R that was attenuated significantly by 18A. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated increased iNOS protein expression within the intestinal crypts after GI/R. Cu/Zn SOD (mRNA and protein) was unaffected by GI/R, whereas Cu/Zn SOD activity was reduced significantly. Mn SOD protein expression was decreased significantly by GI/R. Anti-C5 preserved Cu/Zn SOD activity and Mn SOD protein expression. Staining for nitrotyrosine showed that anti-C5 treatment reduced protein nitration in the reperfused intestine. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated prominent phosphorylated (p) inhibitory factor-kappaB (IkappaB)-alpha staining of intestinal tissue after GI/R, whereas anti-C5 reduced p-IkappaB-alpha expression. These data indicate that complement may mediate tissue damage during GI/R by increasing intestinal iNOS and decreasing the activity and protein levels of Cu/Zn SOD and Mn SOD, respectively.

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