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Cytokine. 1994 Nov;6(6):602-7.

Nitric oxide synthesis in rat mesangial cells induced by cytokines.

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Department of Clinical Immunology, Jichi Medical School, Tochigi, Japan.


The production of nitric oxide (NO) is increased in experimental nephritis, with NO thought to be an important mediator of cell damage. The cytokines interleukin 1 beta (IL-1 beta), IL-6, IL-8, monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1) and transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) are released from mesangial cells in vitro or are expressed in various forms of glomerulonephritis. We investigated the effects of these cytokines on NO synthesis in cultured rat mesangial cells. Incubation of mesangial cells with IL-1 beta (10 ng/ml) for 24 h increased the accumulation of NO and guanosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cGMP). IL-6, IL-8, MCP-1 and TGF-beta showed no significant effect on the production of NO or cGMP. Transcripts of the inducible NO synthase (iNOS) gene were not detected in unstimulated mesangial cells. However, exposure of cells to IL-1 beta (10 ng/ml) for 24 h resulted in the appearance of iNos mRNA. IL-1 beta-induced NO synthesis was significantly inhibited by NG-monomethyl-L-arginine, cycloheximide, actinomycin D, dexamethasone, and TGF-beta. These results indicate that, of the various cytokines studied, only IL-1 beta stimulates iNOS mRNA accumulation and NO synthesis in mesangial cells. NO may function in an autocrine manner to modulate the glomerular response to inflammation.

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