Expression of nitric oxide synthase-2 in the lungs decreases airway resistance and responsiveness

Josephine Hjoberg, Stephanie Shore, Lester Kobzik, Shoji Okinaga, Arlene Hallock, Joseph Vallone, Venkat Subramaniam, George T. De Sanctis, Jack A. Elias, Jeffrey M. Drazen, Eric S. Silverman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Individuals with asthma have increased levels of nitric oxide in their exhaled air. To explore its role, we have developed a regulatable transgenic mouse capable of overexpressing inducible nitric oxide synthase in a lung-specific fashion. The CC10-rtTA-NOS-2 mouse contains two transgenes, a reverse tetracycline transactivator under the control of the Clara cell protein promoter and the mouse nitric oxide synthase-2 (NOS-2) coding region under control of a tetracycline operator. Addition of doxycycline to the drinking water of CC10-rtTA-NOS-2 mice causes an increase in nitric oxide synthase-2 that is largely confined to the airway epithelium. The fraction of expired nitric oxide increases over the first 24 h from ∼10 parts per billion to a plateau of ∼20 parts per billion. There were no obvious differences between CC10-rtTA-NOS-2 mice, with or without doxycycline, and wild-type mice in lung histology, bronchoalveolar protein, total cell count, or count differentials. However, airway resistance was lower in CC10-rtTA-NOS-2 mice with doxycycline than in CC10-rtTA-NOS-2 mice without doxycycline or wild-type mice with doxycycline. Moreover, doxycycline-treated CC10-rtTA-NOS-2 mice were hyporesponsive to methacholine compared with other groups. These data suggest that increased nitric oxide in the airways has no proinflammatory effects per se and may have beneficial effects on pulmonary function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-259
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Jul


  • Asthma
  • Epithelial cell
  • Inducible transgene
  • Methacholine
  • Mouse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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