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Br J Pharmacol. 1995 Nov;116(6):2545-6.

Induction of calcium-independent nitric oxide synthase by allergen challenge in sensitized rat lung in vivo.

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Department of Pharmacology, Wellcome Foundation Ltd., Beckenham, Kent.


There is some evidence that nitric oxide synthase (NOS) is induced in the lungs of patients with allergic asthma, but the mechanism of this is not understood. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the levels of NOS in rat lung could be altered by exposure of the animals to aerosols of allergen (ovalbumin). Brown-Norway rats were actively sensitized to ovalbumin, raising a mixed IgE/IgG antibody response. The levels of total and calcium-independent NOS in lung tissue homogenates were elevated at 6 h and 24 h after allergen exposure in sensitized rats but not in unsensitized rats. The induction was not due to contaminating lipopolysaccharide in the challenge solution. The allergen-induced increase in calcium-independent lung NOS was inhibited by pretreatment of the animals with the corticosteroid betamethasone (3 mg kg-1 i.p., 1 h prior to and 6 h after allergen). These results show that allergen challenge induces calcium-independent NOS in the lungs of sensitized rats, a process inhibited by an anti-inflammatory corticosteroid.

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