Differential regulation of nitric oxide synthase isoforms in experimental acute Chagasic cardiomyopathy

B. Chandrasekar, P. C. Melby, D. A. Troyer, G. L. Freeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


We have previously demonstrated induction and high level expression of IL-1β, IL-6 and tumour necrosis factor-alpha in the myocardium during the acute stage of experimental Trypanosoma cruzi infection (Chagas' disease). The myocardial depressive effects of these cytokines are mediated in part by the induction of nitric oxide synthase (NOS), production of nitric oxide (NO) and formation of peroxynitrite. In this study we investigated the expression, activity and localization of NOS isoforms, and the levels of NO, malondialdehyde (a measure of oxidative stress), and peroxynitrite in rats at 1.5, 5, 10 and 15 days after infection with T. cruzi trypomastigotes. The myocardial inflammatory infiltrate and number of amastigote nests increased over the course of infection. A significant increase in tissue nitrate + nitrite levels, NOS2 mRNA, and NOS2 enzyme activity was observed at all time points in the infected compared with uninfected animals. The enzyme activity of constitutive NOS, tissue malondialdehyde levels, and NOS3 mRNA levels was only transiently increased after infection. The protein levels of the NOS isoforms paralleled their mRNA expression. While no positive nitrotyrosine immunoreactivity was detected in control myocardium, its levels increased in infected animals over time. Thus, by 1.5 days post-infection, when no parasite or immune cell infiltration could be detected, the myocardium expressed high levels of NOS and NO metabolites. Nevertheless, the early production of NO in the myocardium was not sufficient to clear the parasites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)112-119
Number of pages8
JournalClinical and Experimental Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Chagas' disease
  • Nitric oxide synthase
  • Peroxynitrite
  • Trypanosoma cruzi

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'Differential regulation of nitric oxide synthase isoforms in experimental acute Chagasic cardiomyopathy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this