Nitric oxide inhibits viral replication in murine myocarditis

Charles J. Lowenstein, Susan L. Hill, Anne Lafond-Walker, Jean Wu, Greg Allen, Mike Landavere, Noel R. Rose, Ahvie Herskowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nitric oxide (NO) is a radical molecule that not only serves as a vasodilator and neurotransmitter but also acts as a cytotoxic effector molecule of the immune system. The inducible enzyme making NO, inducible NO synthase (iNOS), is transcriptionally activated by IFN-γ and TNF-α, cytokines which are produced during vital infection. We show that iNOS is induced in mice infected with the Coxsackie B3 virus. Macrophages expressing iNOS are identified in the hearts and spleens of infected animals with an antibody raised against iNOS. Infected mice have increased titers of virus and a higher mortality when fed NOS inhibitors. Thus, viral infection induces iNOS in vivo, and NO inhibits viral replication, NO is a novel, nonspecific immune defense against viruses in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1837-1843
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 15 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Coxsackievirus
  • cytokines
  • enterovirus
  • inducible nitric oxide synthase
  • macrophage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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