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J Interferon Cytokine Res. 2006 Sep;26(9):682-8.

Differential sensitivity of C57BL/6 (M-1) and BALB/c (M-2) macrophages to the stimuli of IFN-gamma/LPS for the production of NO: correlation with iNOS mRNA and protein expression.

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Departamento de Bioquímica e Imunologia, 01509-010 São Paulo, SP, Brazil.


C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice are prototype hosts for the study of resistance and susceptibility to several infectious diseases. In many cases, resistance of C57BL/6 is due to the microbicidal effect of nitric oxide (NO) produced by macrophages in response to interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), mainly secreted by Th1 cells and macrophages, respectively. BALB/c, usually unable to give rise to Th1 lymphocytes, does not control certain infections. However, we and others have previously observed that regardless of the adaptive immune response, C57BL/6 (M-1) macrophages are far more sensitive to the stimulus of IFN-gamma-plus lipopolysaccharide (LPS) for the production of NO than are BALB/c (M-2) cells, a feature that might also account for resistance. Here, we report that the differential production of NO by M-1 and M-2 macrophages correlates with the accumulation of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) mRNA and protein, which shows that expression of iNOS is differentially regulated in M-1 and M-2 cells. The higher accumulation of iNOS mRNA in M-1 cells is independent of its stability, and, thus, it is possible that transcription of the iNOS gene in these cells may be more efficient than in M-2 cells. A remarkable finding is that the level of iNOS protein is much higher in M-1 macrophages than in M-2 cells, as compared with the mRNA levels, which makes us speculate that differential translational or posttranslational controls of iNOS gene are operative.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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