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      Interferon (IFN)-α Activation of Human Blood Mononuclear Cells In Vitro and In Vivo for Nitric Oxide Synthase (NOS) Type 2 mRNA and Protein Expression: Possible Relationship of Induced NOS2 to the Anti–Hepatitis C Effects of IFN-α In Vivo

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          Abstract

          Although researchers have noted high level activation of rodent mononuclear phagocytes for nitric oxide (NO) synthase type 2 (S2) expression and NO production with a variety of agents such as interferon (IFN) γ and endotoxin, it has been difficult to demonstrate activation of human mononuclear phagocytes. The purpose of this study was to determine if IFN-α serves as an activator in vitro and in vivo in humans. Treatment of normal monocytes or mononuclear cells in vitro with IFN-α caused a dose-dependent increase in monocyte NOS2 activity and NO production, and increased expression of NOS2 protein and mRNA expression. To determine if in vivo administration of IFN-α also modulated NOS2, we studied blood cells from patients with hepatitis C before and after IFN-α therapy. Untreated patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection had levels of NOS activity and NOS2 antigen in freshly isolated mononuclear cells similar to those of healthy subjects, and they expressed minimal or no NOS2 mRNA. However, IFN-α treatment of patients with hepatitis C infection was associated with a significant elevation in mononuclear cell NOS activity, NOS2 antigen content, and NOS2 mRNA content. IFN-α–treated patients had significant decreases in levels of serum alanine aminotransferase and plasma hepatitis C mRNA. The degree of IFN-α–enhanced mononuclear cell NOS2 antigen content correlated significantly with the degree of reduction in serum alanine aminotransferase levels. Thus, IFN-α treatment of cells in vitro or administration of IFN-α to hepatitis C patients in vivo increases expression of mononuclear cell NOS2 mRNA expression, NOS activity, NOS2 antigen expression, and NO production. Since NO has been reported to have antiviral activity for a variety of viruses, we speculate that induced NO production may be related to the antiviral action(s) of IFN-α in hepatitis C infection.

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          Single-step method of RNA isolation by acid guanidinium thiocyanate-phenol-chloroform extraction.

          A new method of total RNA isolation by a single extraction with an acid guanidinium thiocyanate-phenol-chloroform mixture is described. The method provides a pure preparation of undegraded RNA in high yield and can be completed within 4 h. It is particularly useful for processing large numbers of samples and for isolation of RNA from minute quantities of cells or tissue samples.
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            Nitric oxide as a secretory product of mammalian cells.

            Evolution has resorted to nitric oxide (NO), a tiny, reactive radical gas, to mediate both servoregulatory and cytotoxic functions. This article reviews how different forms of nitric oxide synthase help confer specificity and diversity on the effects of this remarkable signaling molecule.
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              Identification of nitric oxide synthase as a protective locus against tuberculosis.

              Mutagenesis of the host immune system has helped identify response pathways necessary to combat tuberculosis. Several such pathways may function as activators of a common protective gene: inducible nitric oxide synthase (NOS2). Here we provide direct evidence for this gene controlling primary Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection using mice homozygous for a disrupted NOS2 allele. NOS2(-/-) mice proved highly susceptible, resembling wild-type littermates immunosuppressed by high-dose glucocorticoids, and allowed Mycobacterium tuberculosis to replicate faster in the lungs than reported for other gene-deficient hosts. Susceptibility appeared to be independent of the only known naturally inherited antimicrobial locus, NRAMP1. Progression of chronic tuberculosis in wild-type mice was accelerated by specifically inhibiting NOS2 via administration of N6-(1-iminoethyl)-L-lysine. Together these findings identify NOS2 as a critical host gene for tuberculostasis.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Exp Med
                The Journal of Experimental Medicine
                The Rockefeller University Press
                0022-1007
                1540-9538
                3 November 1997
                : 186
                : 9
                : 1495-1502
                Affiliations
                From the [* ]Division of Gastroenterology and []Division of Hematology-Oncology, Department of Medicine, Veterans Affairs and Duke University Medical Centers, Durham, North Carolina 27705
                Author notes

                Address correspondence to Dr. J. Brice Weinberg, VA and Duke University Medical Centers, 508 Fulton Street, Durham, NC 27705-3875. Phone: 919-286-6833; FAX: 919-286-6891; E-mail: brice@ 123456acpub.duke.edu

                Article
                2199112
                9348307
                Categories
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                Medicine

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