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Role of macrophage-derived nitric oxide in suppression of lymphocyte proliferation during blood-stage malaria

, : Role of macrophage-derived nitric oxide in suppression of lymphocyte proliferation during blood-stage malaria. Journal of Leukocyte Biology 58(1): 23-31

Examination of the proliferative responses in vitro to mitogens (concanavalin A, phytohemagglutinin, lipopolysaccharide) of spleen cells recovered from C57BL/6 mice during blood-stage Plasmodium chabaudi AS infection revealed that the most severe suppression occurred during the first 14 days post infection, that is, during the acute phase of infection. Coincidently, inducible nitric oxide synthase gene expression was found to be up-regulated in the spleens of infected mice, and both splenic and peritoneal macrophages produced high levels of NO in vitro in response to stimulation with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). The roles of NO, a molecule recently found to mediate immunosuppression during parasitic infections, and of the well-recognized immunosuppressive molecule prostaglandin were, therefore, investigated in the suppression of proliferation to mitogens and specific antigen of spleen cells from 7- and 14-day P. chabaudi AS-infected mice. Addition of either 0.5 mM NG-monomethyl-L-arginine (L-NMMA) or 0.5 mM aminoguanidine (AG), inhibitors of NO synthase, or 10 micrograms/ml indomethacin (INDO), a prostaglandin inhibitor, partially but significantly abrogated the suppression in response to concanavalin A (Con A) and phytohemagglutinin (PHA). Only the addition of INDO significantly increased the responses to LPS. Addition of L-NMMA or AG in combination with INDO partially but significantly abrogated the suppression in response to Con A and completely abrogated the suppression in response to PHA. The addition of L-NMMA or AG also significantly increased proliferation in response to parasite antigen. The contribution of NO to suppression of lymphoproliferation was confirmed by adding 3-morpholino-sydnonimine-hydrochloride (SIN-1), a chemical generator of NO, to mitogen-stimulated splenocyte cultures prepared from normal mice. The mechanism of NO-mediated suppression was investigated in coculture experiments using spleen cells from normal mice and peritoneal macrophages from either normal or day 7 infected mice. The addition of 5-10 x 10(4) peritoneal macrophages from infected mice significantly and consistently suppressed Con A- or PHA-stimulated proliferation of normal splenocytes. Moreover, suppression correlated with production of NO and could be reversed by the addition of L-NMMA or AG. These results suggest that, in addition to prostaglandin, increased NO production by macrophages within the first 2 weeks after infection with P. chabaudi AS contributes to immunosuppression associated with blood-stage malaria.


PMID: 7542305

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