Nitric oxide mediates immune dysfunction in the spontaneously hypertensive rat Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Hypertension
  • Immune System Diseases
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Rats, Inbred SHR


  • The immune system of the spontaneously hypertensive rat is dysfunctional compared with that of normotensive control strains. Previous studies from our laboratory have shown that immunodepression in the spontaneously hypertensive rat was mediated by macrophages. The current study examines the mechanism for the depressed proliferative responses to concanavalin A typically observed by splenic mononuclear cells of spontaneously hypertensive rats. We tested various inhibitors of known macrophage products responsible for suppressing lymphoid function. The nitric oxide synthetase inhibitor NG-monomethyl L-arginine produced dose-dependent derepression of the proliferative responses of splenic mononuclear cells to concanavalin A. In contrast, indomethacin and catalase exhibited only weak derepression of the proliferative responses. Subsequent analysis showed that splenic mononuclear cells from spontaneously hypertensive rats generated greater nitric oxide levels than cells from Wistar-Kyoto rats, and nitric oxide levels were reduced when the inhibitor was added to splenic mononuclear cell cultures from spontaneously hypertensive rats. We further demonstrated that L-arginine is required for the development of the depressed mitogen-induced proliferative responses in these cells. Addition of L-arginine in excess of 10 microM to cultures diminished cell proliferation and increased nitric oxide. Polyclonal antibodies to murine interferon gamma reduced nitric oxide accumulation by approximately 50%, suggesting that interferon gamma is partially responsible for enhancing nitric oxide production in mitogen-stimulated splenic mononuclear cell cultures from spontaneously hypertensive rats. Thus, this study provides evidence that the immune depression observed in the spontaneously hypertensive rat is nitric oxide dependent.

publication date

  • February 1993



  • Academic Article



  • eng

PubMed ID

  • 7679089

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 185

end page

  • 94


  • 21


  • 2