Cell-specific inhibition of inducible nitric oxide synthase activation by leflunomide
Samardžić, Tatjana S.
Stošić-Grujičić, Stanislava D.
Popadić, Dusan M
Trajković, Vladimir S
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The influence of a novel immunomodulating drug, leflunomide, on iNOS-dependent nitric oxide (NO) production in rodent macrophages and fibroblasts was investigated. Leflunomide's active metabolite A77 1726 caused a dose-dependent decrease of NO production in IFN-gamma-treated L929 fibroblasts. The observed effect was cell-specific, as well as stimulus-specific, since A77 1726 did not affect NO production in IFN-gamma-stimulated murine peritoneal macrophages or db-cAMP-treated L929 cells. A77 1726 reduced expression of IFN-gamma-induced iNOS and IRF-1 mRNA in L929 cells, while iNOS enzymatic activity remained unchanged. Specific inhibitor of MAP kinase kinase (MEK), PD98059, but not unselective protein kinase inhibitor genistein, completely mimicked cell-type-specific and stimulus-specific NO-inhibitory action of leflunomide. Therefore, the recently described inhibition of MEK/MAP pathway by leflunomide could present a possible mechanism for its suppression of iNOS activation in L929 fibroblasts. Finally, a similar inhibitory effect of A77 1726 on both NO production and iNOS mRNA expression was observed also in IFN-gamma + LPS-activated murine and rat primary fibroblasts. (C) 2000 Academic Press.