Nitric oxide is protective in listeric meningoencephalitis of rats

Remer, K. A.; Jungi, Thomas W.; Fatzer, R.; Täuber, Martin G.; Leib, Stephen L. (2001). Nitric oxide is protective in listeric meningoencephalitis of rats. Infection and immunity, 69(6), pp. 4086-4093. New York, N.Y.: American Society for Microbiology 10.1128/IAI.69.6.4086-4093.2001

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The bacterium Listeria monocytogenes causes meningoencephalitis in humans. In rodents, listeriosis is associated with granulomatous lesions in the liver and the spleen, but not with meningoencephalitis. Here, infant rats were infected intracisternally to generate experimental listeric meningoencephalitis. Dose-dependent effects of intracisternal inoculation with L. monocytogenes on survival and activity were noted; 10(4) L. monocytogenes organisms induced a self-limiting brain infection. Bacteria invaded the basal meninges, chorioid plexus and ependyme, spread to subependymal tissue and hippocampus, and disappeared by day 7. This was paralleled by recruitment and subsequent disappearance of macrophages expressing inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and nitrotyrosine accumulation, an indication of nitric oxide (NO.) production. Treatment with the spin-trapping agent alpha-phenyl-tert-butyl nitrone (PBN) dramatically increased mortality and led to bacterial numbers in the brain 2 orders of magnitude higher than in control animals. Treatment with the selective iNOS inhibitor L-N(6)-(1-iminoethyl)-lysine (L-NIL) increased mortality to a similar extent and led to 1 order of magnitude higher bacterial counts in the brain, compared with controls. The numbers of bacteria that spread to the spleen and liver did not significantly differ among L-NIL-treated, PBN-treated, and control animals. Thus, the infant rat brain is able to mobilize powerful antilisterial mechanisms, and both reactive oxygen and NO. contribute to Listeria growth control.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute for Infectious Diseases
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Institute of Virology and Immunology

UniBE Contributor:

Jungi, Thomas, Täuber, Martin G., Leib, Stephen


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
600 Technology > 630 Agriculture






American Society for Microbiology




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:00

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:18

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URI: (FactScience: 60850)

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