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Kidney Int. 1994 Apr;45(4):1215-9.

Induction of nitric oxide synthase in rat immune complex glomerulonephritis.

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Department of Histopathology, St. Mary's Hospital Medical School, Imperial College of Science and Technology, London.


Nitric oxide (NO) is a biological mediator which is synthesized from L-arginine by a family of nitric oxide synthases (NOS). Previously we have shown that NO is synthesized ex vivo by glomeruli obtained from animals with acute immune complex glomerulonephritis. We have now sought evidence for the in vivo induction of NOS in glomeruli by immunohistochemistry using specific antisera raised against a peptide sequence of inducible mouse macrophage NOS and by in situ hybridization. The expression of the enzyme was studied in kidneys of rats with acute unilateral immune complex glomerulonephritis, induced by cationized IgG, by immunohistochemistry. Inducible NOS (iNOS) was present in glomeruli in nephritic (left) kidneys at the time of maximum macrophage infiltration, both within intraglomerular mononuclear cells and cells emigrating into Bowman's space. iNOS expressing cells were also present in interstitial infiltrates. There was no expression in normal rat kidneys or in glomeruli in the non-nephritic (right) kidneys of experimental rats. In situ hybridization confirmed the immunohistochemical localization. These results provide the first direct evidence for the presence and localization of inducible NOS in glomeruli and support a significant role for NO in the pathogenesis of immune complex glomerulonephritis.

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