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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2, Issue 5, Pages 349-356
Research paper

Nitrite is produced by elicited but not by circulating neutrophils

1Microsurgery Research Centre, St Vincent's Hospital, Fitzroy, 3065, Victoria, Australia
2Department of Physiology, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
3Department of Pharmacology, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Received 27 May 1993; Accepted 5 July 1993

Copyright © 1993 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The generation of nitrite (NO2) was used as an index of the production of nitric oxide by human and rat polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN) and rat peritoneal macrophages. Human peripheral blood PMN did not produce significant levels of NO2. Attempts to induce NO2 generation in human PMN by incubation with GM–CSF (1 nM), TNFα (0.3 nM), endotoxin (1 μg/ml) or formyl-Met-Leu-Phe (100 nM) for up to 16 h were not successful. Addition of human PMN primed by GM–CSF (1 nM) to rabbit aortic ring preparations precontracted with phenylephrine had no effect on tone. In contrast to these observations, PMN, isolated from the peritoneum of oyster glycogen treated rats, generated NO2 via a pathway sensitive to inhibition by the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, NG-monomethyl L-arginine. However, peripheral blood rat PMN obtained from the same animals did not produce NO2, even during prolonged incubation for periods of up to 16 h. It is suggested that detectable NO production by PMN requires NO synthase activity to be induced either by the process of PMN migration or by exposure to certain cytokines produced locally at the site of inflammation.