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J Neurochem. 1994 Sep;63(3):1178-80.

Cerebrospinal fluid nitrite/nitrate levels in neurologic diseases.

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Laboratory of Neurochemistry, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892.


Nitric oxide has been proposed to mediate cytotoxic effects in inflammatory diseases. To investigate the possibility that overproduction of nitric oxide might play a role in the neuropathology of inflammatory and noninflammatory neurological diseases, we compared levels of the markers of nitric oxide, nitrite plus nitrate, in the CSF of controls with those in patients with various neurologic diseases, including Huntington's and Alzheimer's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and HIV infection. We found that there were no significant increases in the CSF levels of these nitric oxide metabolites, even in patients infected with HIV or in monkeys infected with poliovirus, both of which have significantly elevated levels of the neurotoxin quinolinic acid and the marker of macrophage activation, neopterin. However, CSF quinolinic acid, neopterin, and nitrite/nitrate levels were significantly increased in a small group of patients with bacterial and viral meningitis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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