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J Immunol. 1997 Jan 15;158(2):897-904.

An increase in intracellular cyclic AMP modulates nitric oxide production in IFN-gamma-treated macrophages.

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Department of Pharmacology, Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus 43210, USA.


Macrophages treated with IFN-gamma alone are stimulated to produce nitric oxide. The level of nitric oxide production can be enhanced significantly when IFN-gamma treatment is combined with other agents (e.g., LPS, TNF-alpha, IL-2, etc.). We tested the hypothesis that cAMP plays a role in the IFN-gamma-induced activation of macrophages. Our experiments indicate that factors that increase the concentration of cAMP in the murine macrophage cell line ANA-1 can also enhance IFN-gamma-induced production of nitric oxide. PGE2 and cholera toxin increased the production of nitrite (an indicator of nitric oxide production) in IFN-gamma-treated ANA-1 macrophages by at least twofold. These factors produced no increase in nitric oxide production in the absence of IFN-gamma treatment. The increase in nitric oxide production corresponded to an increase in the accumulation of nitric oxide synthase mRNA without a change in stability of mRNA. Dibutyryl cAMP and Sp-cAMPs (a selective activator of cAMP-dependent protein kinase I and II) also increased nitric oxide production in IFN-gamma-treated macrophages. However, at very high concentrations (i.e., >100 microM), the stimulatory effect was decreased. These studies indicate that elevation of intracellular cAMP causes a dose-dependent, biphasic alteration of IFN-gamma-induced nitric oxide production in murine macrophages. Moreover, they suggest that agents that affect nitric oxide synthesis may do so via modulation of the cAMP second messenger system.

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