Expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase in endotoxemic rat hepatocytes is dependent on the cellular glutathione status

TA Vos, H van Goor, L Tuyt, A de Jager-Krikken, R Leuvenink, F Kuipers, PLM Jansen, H Moshage*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


The inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) promoter contains nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappa B) binding sites. NF-kappa B activation is determined, in part, by the intracellular redox status, The aim of this study was to determine the importance of the cellular glutathione status in relation to NF-kappa B activation and iNOS expression in hepatocytes in vivo and in vitro, For in vivo experiments, rats were injected with endotoxin and sacrificed 6 hours later. Glutathione was depleted by diethylmaleate. For in vitro experiments, cultured hepatocytes from untreated rats were exposed to a cytokine mixture, Glutathione levels were depleted by diethylmaleate and restored by N-acetylcysteine. iNOS expression was assessed by Western blot, reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, nitric oxide (NO) metabolites, and immunohistochemistry. NF-kappa B binding was assessed by electrophoretic mobility shift assay. Endotoxin-induced iNOS expression in rat liver was prominent in hepatocytes, Kupffer cells, and inflammatory cells, in particular neutrophils. Glutathione depletion prevented iNOS induction in hepatocytes, but not in inflammatory cells. iNOS protein levels were in accordance with iNOS messenger RNA and NO metabolites in plasma. Glutathione depletion did not affect neutrophil infiltration. Cytokines strongly induced iNOS in cultured hepatocytes, Induction was prevented by glutathione depletion and could be restored by addition of N-acetylcysteine, NF-kappa B binding correlated with iNOS induction. In conclusion, in this study we show that iNOS induction in hepatocytes in vivo and in vitro is dependent on the intracellular glutathione status and correlates with NF-kappa B binding. Glutathione-depletion has no effect on the expression of iNOS in inflammatory cells, nor on neutrophil infiltration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-426
Number of pages6
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb-1999
EventAnnual Meeting of the American-Association-for-the-Study-of-Liver-Diseases -
Duration: 7-Nov-199810-Nov-1998


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