Author(s): Gonzalez A, Hung CY, Cole GT
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Abstract The functions of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) activity in protection against microbial insults are still controversial. In this study, we explored the role of iNOS in protection against Coccidioides infection in mice. We observed that wild type (WT) and iNOS(-/-) mice showed similar percent survival and fungal burden in their lungs at days 7 and 11 after intranasal challenge with Coccidioides. Vaccinated WT and iNOS(-/-) mice revealed comparable fungal burden in their lungs and spleen at 7 and 11 days postchallenge. However, at 11 days the non-vaccinated, iNOS-deficient mice had significantly higher fungal burden in their spleen compared to WT mice. Additionally, higher numbers of lung-infiltrated neutrophils, macrophages and dendritic cells were observed in WT mice at day 11 postchallenge compared to iNOS(-/-) mice. Moreover, no difference in numbers of T, B, NK or regulatory T cells, or concentrations of selected cytokines and chemokines were detected in lungs of both mouse strains at 7 and 11 days postchallenge. Although iNOS-derived NO production appears to influence the inflammatory response and dissemination of the fungal pathogen, our results suggest that iNOS activity does not play a significant role in the control of coccidioidal infection in mice and that other, still undefined mechanisms of host protection are involved. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Microb Pathog
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology