Nitric oxide produced in Peyer's patches exhibits antiapoptotic activity contributing to an antimicrobial effect in murine salmonellosis

Mohammad S. Alam, Mohammad H. Zaki, Tomohiro Sawa, Sabrina Islam, Khandaker A. Ahmed, Shigemoto Fujii, Tatsuya Okamoto, Takaaki Akaike

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26 Citations (Scopus)


Salmonella species normally infect hosts via the oral-fecal route. We previously reported that NO had potent host defense functions in murine salmonellosis, not only via a direct anti bacterial effect but also because it was cytoprotective for infected host cells. Here, we used an oral route to infect iNOS-deficient mice infected with S. enterica serovar Typhimurium to further investigate the cytoprotective role of NO in preventing damage caused by Salmonella organisms in PP. Oral bacterial challenge (2 × 105 CFU, or >100 LD50)produced a more severe infection and greater lethality in iNOS-deficient mice than in iNOS-competent mice. We used specific antibodies to S. enterica Typhimurium, neutrophils, iNOS, nitrotyrosine, and dendritic cells (CD11c-positive) in histochemical and immunohistochemical studies to examine infected PP tissues. S. enterica Typhimurium colonization in PP from iNOS-deficient mice was significantly higher than that in wild-type mice. Histochemical assays showed extensive cellular damage in PP. We then examined PP tissues for apoptosis bymeans of in situ TUNEL analysis and by measuring caspase-3 specific activity in tissue homogenates. Increased numbers of TUNEL-positive cells and severe granulomatous inflammation with increased infiltration of neutrophils and macrophages were observed during infection in iNOS-deficient mice compared with wild-type mice. iNOS-deficient mice had increased numbers of dendritic cells and significantly higher caspase-3-specific activity in PP. These data confirmthat NO exerts its protective function not only through direct antibacterial action, but also by preventing apoptosis and thereby contributing to antimicrobial defense during salmonellosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-208
Number of pages12
JournalMicrobiology and Immunology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Apr


  • Antiapoptosis
  • Nitric oxide
  • Peyer's patches
  • Salmonellosis


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