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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1993 Dec 15;197(2):606-11.

Alcohol administration attenuates LPS-induced expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase in Kupffer and hepatic endothelial cells.

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Department of Physiology, Louisiana State University Medical Center, New Orleans.


This study investigates the effects of in vivo ethanol (primed infusion, causing 170-190 mg% plasma alcohol for 12 hours) and/or LPS (12 hours after injection of E. coli LPS 1 mg/kg bw.) on the mRNA expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (NOS II) in hepatic cells measured by competitive PCR technique, and on hepatic release of reactive nitrogen intermediates (RNI, NO2- + NO3-). Perfused livers from alcohol- or saline-infused animals did not release measurable amounts of RNI. Under these conditions small amounts of NOS II mRNA were expressed in Kupffer and endothelial cells, while it was not detectable in parenchymal cells. LPS treatment along with markedly elevating hepatic RNI release increased NOS II mRNA levels by 35- and 200-fold, in endothelial and Kupffer cells, respectively. LPS injection and alcohol infusion to the same animal decreased hepatic RNI release by about 70% and almost completely inhibited the LPS-induced, elevated NOS II mRNA in Kupffer or endothelial cells. No similar changes were observed in the parenchymal cells. These data suggest that the primary target of in vivo LPS in upregulating hepatic NO release are the nonparenchymal cells. Furthermore, alcohol inhibits the LPS-induced response which may influence immune-related hepatic function.

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