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Circ Res. 1996 Nov;79(5):992-9.

A balance between nitric oxide and oxidants regulates mast cell-dependent neutrophil-endothelial cell interactions.

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Immunology Research Group, University of Calgary Medical Center, Alberta, Canada.


Nitric oxide (NO) synthesis inhibition causes neutrophil adhesion to endothelium via a mast cell- and oxidant-dependent mechanism. The objective of this study was to delineate the cascade of events in the mast cell- and oxidant-induced neutrophil-endothelium interactions after NO synthesis inhibition. Mast cells were isolated and purified from the rat peritoneal cavity and coadministered with neutrophils to wells of endothelium. This system was treated with an NO synthesis inhibitor (NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester; L-NAME) for 60 minutes. L-NAME did not induce neutrophil-endothelium interactions in the absence of mast cells, but the addition of mast cells in a ratio as low as 1:50 mast cells to neutrophils was sufficient to induce a large increase in neutrophil adhesion to endothelium within 20 to 25 minutes. L-arginine, NO donors, and 8-bromo-cGMP reversed the L-NAME effect, whereas NG-nitro-D-arginine methyl ester alone had no proadhesive effect. The adhesion was inhibited by an anti-CD18 or an anti-intracellular adhesion molecule-1 antibody and a platelet-activating factor-receptor antagonist. Inhibition of NO in isolated endothelial monolayers induced oxidant release (reduction of cytochrome C) into extracellular fluid. The endothelium-derived superoxide contributed to the mast cell-induced adhesion, inasmuch as the extracellular antioxidant superoxide dismutase reduced the neutrophil adhesion response as did disruption of endothelial function. There was some direct activation of mast cells with L-NAME (independent of endothelium) inasmuch as intracellular calcium and oxidative stress increased within mast cells after L-NAME treatment, and this translated into increased neutrophil adhesion to nonendothelial substrata. These data demonstrate that depletion of NO increases oxidative stress within mast cells and endothelium and together these events promote neutrophil adhesion within the vasculature.

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