The amount of messenger RNA encoding human inducible nitric oxide synthase and the presence and distribution of NADPH diaphorase were determined in tissue sections from multiple sclerosis (MS) and control brains. Levels of human nitric oxide synthase messenger RNA were markedly elevated in MS brains when compared to normal control brains. NADPH diaphorase activity, a histochemical stain reflecting nitric oxide synthase catalytic activity, was detected in reactive astrocytes in active demyelinating MS lesions and at the edge of chronic active demyelinating lesions. Control brains did not contain NADPH diaphorase–positive astrocytes. These results implicate the free radical nitric oxide in the pathogenesis of demyelinating MS lesions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology