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Comp Immunol Microbiol Infect Dis. 2012 Jan;35(1):63-9. doi: 10.1016/j.cimid.2011.10.001. Epub 2011 Nov 25.

Characterization of turkey inducible nitric oxide synthase and identification of its expression in the intestinal epithelium following astrovirus infection.

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Department of Poultry Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, United States.


The inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) enzyme has long been recognized as a key mediator of innate immune responses to infectious diseases across the phyla. Its role in killing or inactivating bacterial, parasitic, and viral pathogens has been documented in numerous host systems. iNOS, and its innate immune mediator NO has also been described to have negative consequence on host tissues as well; therefore understanding the pathogenesis of any infectious agent which induces iNOS expression requires a better understanding of the role iNOS and NO play in that disease. Previous studies in our laboratory and others have demonstrated evidence for increased levels of iNOS and activity of its innate immune mediator NO in the intestine of turkeys infected with astrovirus. To begin to characterize the role iNOS plays in the innate immune response to astrovirus infection, we identified, characterized, developed tkiNOS specific reagents, and demonstrated that the intestinal epithelial cells induce expression of iNOS following astrovirus infection. These data are the first to our knowledge to describe the tkiNOS gene, and demonstrate that astrovirus infection induces intestinal epithelial cells to express iNOS, suggesting these cells play a key role in the antiviral response to enteric infections.

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