J Neurosci Res. 2003 Jul 15;73(2):198-205
Kahl KG, Zielasek J, Uttenthal LO, Rodrigo J, Toyka KV, Schmidt HH.
Department of Neurology, Julius-Maximilians-University, Wurzburg, Germany.
The pathogenic role of nitric oxide (NO) in multiple sclerosis (MS) remains controversial.
Some groups have reported a pathogenic role of NO in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an animal model of some aspects of MS, whereas we and others have found a disease-suppressive effect of NO in EAE.
Because the previously used EAE models have a mainly monophasic inflammatory disease course, distinct from MS, we here studied EAE in the DA rat, which better models the demyelinating and relapsing disease course of human MS.
The induction of EAE in DA rats led to 1) severe inflammatory infiltrates mainly in the lumbar spinal cord; 2) an up-regulation of the activity of the cytokine-inducible isoform of NO synthases (NOS-II); and 3) increased tissue protein tyrosine nitration, as indicated by peroxynitrite (ONOO(-)), as a marker of nitrosative stress.
Sources of superoxide metabolism, i.e., NADPH oxidase, myeloperoxidase, and superoxide dismutase, remained unchanged.
Early treatment of animals with aminoguanidine, a relatively selective inhibitor of NOS-II, lowered nitrotyrosine immunoreactivity but at the same time led to more severe disease and pronounced inflammatory infiltrates in the lumbar spinal cord.
Our results suggest a rather protective role of NOS-II induction and nitrosative stress in EAE in DA rats and support the hypothesis of a disease-mitigating immunomodulatory role of NO in this animal model of MS.