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Eur J Biochem. 2003 Oct;270(19):4016-25.

A pathway through interferon-gamma is the main pathway for induction of nitric oxide upon stimulation with bacterial lipopolysaccharide in mouse peritoneal cells.

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Department of Microbiology, Jichi Medical School, Tochigi, Japan.


Production of nitric oxide (NO) in response to bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) was investigated using cultures of mouse peritoneal exudate cells (PEC) and the macrophage cell line RAW264.7. In the presence of anti-(interferon-gamma) (IFN-gamma), NO production was markedly suppressed in the PEC culture but not in the RAW264.7 culture. In the PEC culture, LPS induced both IFN-gamma production and activation of IFN response factor-1, which leads to the gene expression of inducible NO synthase, but neither was induced in the culture of RAW264.7 cells. In addition to anti-(IFN-gamma), antibodies against interleukin (IL)-12 and IL-18 showed a suppressive effect on LPS-induced NO production in the PEC culture, and these antibodies in synergy showed strong suppression. Stimulation of the PEC culture with IL-12 or IL-18 induced production of IFN-gamma and NO, and these cytokines, in combination, exhibited marked synergism. Stimulation of the culture with IFN-gamma induced production of NO, but not IL-12. The macrophage population in the PEC, prepared as adherent cells, responded well to LPS for IL-12 production, but weakly for production of IFN-gamma and NO. The macrophages also responded well to IFN-gamma for NO production. For production of IFN-gamma by stimulation with LPS or IL-12 + IL-18, nonadherent cells were required in the PEC culture. Considering these results overall, the indirect pathway, through the production of intermediates (such as IFN-gamma-inducing cytokines and IFN-gamma) by the cooperation of macrophages with nonadherent cells, was revealed to play the main role in the LPS-induced NO production pathway, as opposed to the direct pathway requiring only a macrophage population.

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