Nitric Oxide and Infection

pp 95-150

Human Mononuclear Phagocyte Nitric Oxide Production and Inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase Expression

  • J. Brice WeinbergAffiliated withDivision of Hematology and Oncology, Veterans Affairs and Duke University Medical Centers

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Summary and Conclusion

Despite lingering controversy,it is evident from a detailed review of the literature that human mononuclear phagocytes can be stimulated by various means both in vitro and in vivo to express NOS2 and produce NO.It is difficult to quantitatively compare levels of NO production and NOS2 expression by human and murine mononuclear phagocytes.However,based on several studies in which both murine and human cells have been examined in parallel under identical conditions,human cells appear to produce less NO and express lower levels of NOS2 than do murine cells.This might help to explain the innate resistance of mice to certain human pathogens (e.g.,Mycobacterium tuberculosis).Despite the apparent species differences,it is very likely that human mononuclear phagocyte-generated NO is important in certain pathological states (e.g.,in resistance to infection and mediation of inflammation),and possibly under normal physiological conditions as well.Pharmacological modulation of mononuclear phagocyte NO production should prove to be a useful therapeutic option in some disease states.