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Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2009 Sep 15;131(1-2):97-104. doi: 10.1016/j.vetimm.2009.03.020. Epub 2009 Apr 7.

Role of nitric oxide production in dairy cows naturally infected with Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis.

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Department of Veterinary Basic Medical Science, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan.


Nitric oxide (NO) is a crucial mediator in host defense and is one of the major killing mechanisms within macrophages. Its induction is highly affected by the types of cytokines and the infectious agents present. In the current study, NO production was evaluated after in vitro infection of unfractionated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) with Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) after 8h, 3 and 6 days of culture for cows in different stages of disease. In addition, the effects of in vitro exposure to inhibitory cytokines such as interleukin-10 (IL-10) and transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) as well as the pro-inflammatory cytokine IFN-gamma were correlated with the level of NO production. Nitric oxide production was consistently higher in cell cultures from subclinically infected animals at all time points. An upregulation of NO production was demonstrated in unfractionated cell cultures from healthy control cows after exposure to MAP infection as compared to noninfected cell cultures. A similar increase in NO due to the addition of MAP to cell cultures was also noted for clinically infected cows. NO level among subclinically infected cattle was greater at all time points tested and was further boosted with the combination of both in vitro MAP infection and IFN-gamma stimulation. Alternatively, nonspecific stimulation with LPS from Escherichia coli O111:B4-W resulted in an upregulation of NO production in all infected groups at 3 and 6 days after in vitro infection. Finally, the in vitro exposure to inhibitory cytokines such as IL-10 and TGF-beta prior to MAP infection or LPS stimulation resulted in the downregulation of this inflammatory mediator (NO) in all experimental groups at all time points. In summary, a higher level of NO production was associated with cows in the subclinical stage of MAP infection. As well, the results demonstrated an increase in NO production upon infection with MAP and in the presence of exogenous IFN-gamma. Finally, the results suggest an important role of IL-10 and TGF-beta on the profile of NO production which may explain the low NO production in MAP clinically infected cows.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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