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Role of nitric oxide in the activation of NF-κB, AP-1 and NOS II expression in articular chondrocytes

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Objective and design: Determine the sources of nitric oxide (NO) and evaluate its role in the activation of nuclear Factor-kappaB (NF-κB) and activator protein-1 (AP-1) and in the expression of NO synthase II (NOS II), induced by interleukin-1β (IL-1).¶Material or subjects: Primary cultures of bovine articular chondrocytes.¶Treatment: The cells were treated with IL-1, 5 ng/ml with or without the NO donor S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine (SNAP), in concentrations ranging from 10 to 300 μM.¶Methods: NF-κB and AP-1 activation were evaluated by electrophoretic mobility shift assay. Northern blot was used to detect NOS II mRNA levels and western blot to evaluate IκB-α, NOS I and NOS II protein levels.¶Results: Under basal conditions, chondrocytes expressed NOS I, which was lost upon IL-1 treatment. SNAP inhibited IL-1-induced NF-κB activation and NOS II expression. When added alone, SNAP induced AP-1 activation to approximately the same extent as IL-1.¶Conclusions: These results suggest that, in chondrocytes, NO is a key regulator of the signaling pathways leading from IL-1 to NF-κB and AP-1 activation and to the expression of genes that are involved in the pathophysiology of arthritic diseases.

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Received 13 February 2002; accepted by W. B. van den Berg 2 April 2002

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Mendes, A., Carvalho, A., Caramona, M. et al. Role of nitric oxide in the activation of NF-κB, AP-1 and NOS II expression in articular chondrocytes. Inflamm. res. 51, 369–375 (2002).

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