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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1997 Feb;280(2):1008-15.

The effect of inhibitors of inducible nitric oxide synthase on chronic colitis in the rhesus monkey.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Louisiana State University Medical Center, New Orleans 70112, USA.


GI inflammation is associated with an increase in nitric oxide production and expression of the inducible isoform of nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). Using a spontaneous model of chronic colonic inflammation in rhesus monkeys, which shares morphological and clinical features with ulcerative colitis, we assessed the therapeutic benefit of administration of iNOS inhibitors. Sixteen colitic rhesus monkeys underwent an endoscopy procedure before commencement of the trial, and biopsies from three sites of the colon and plasma were collected. Monkeys were randomly assigned to three treatment groups and were administered by oral bolus 60 mg/kg/day L-N 6-(1-Iminoethyl) lysine, 60 mg/kg/day aminoguanidine or a placebo (0.9% NaCl) twice daily. Monkeys were sacrificed after 10 days, coIonic tissue from multiple sites was dissected and processed for histological and biochemical analysis. In rhesus colitis, diarrhea was characterized by a significant increase in fecal water content and daily fecal output. iNOS was localized immunohistochemically in plasma cells and neutrophils in the colonic mucosa and lamina propria, paralleled by enhanced iNOS gene expression determined by reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Only L-N 6-(1-iminoethyl) lysine administration resulted in a significant reduction in systemic nitric oxide production, and neither of the iNOS inhibitors significantly reduced the histological inflammatory score nor ameliorated diarrheal symptoms. From these findings, we conclude that in this chronic, spontaneous model of colonic inflammation, administering iNOS inhibitors with this treatment regimen did not provide any major therapeutic benefit.

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