Differential expression of arginase and iNOS in the lung in sepsis

Martha Sue Carraway, Claude A. Piantadosi, Christopher P. Jenkinson, Yuh Chin T. Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


The primary metabolic fates of L-arginine are conversion to L-citrulline by nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and to L-ornithine by arginase. In the lung, arginine utilization is increased after the inducible form of NOS (iNOS) is expressed during inflammation. The expression of arginase in normal lung and after sepsis, and its potential relationships with iNOS, however, are not known. Since arginase and iNOS share the substrate L-arginine, we tested the hypothesis that lung arginase would be co-induced with iNOS in sepsis and its cellular distribution would be related to that of iNOS in the lung. Lungs from cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) and sham-operated (S) rats were harvested 6 or 16 hours after the procedures. Lung wet-to-dry weight ratio, myeloperoxidase content, and lipid peroxidation products were measured as indices of lung injury. Western blot analyses were performed with polyclonal antibodies against two isoforms of rat arginase (I and II) and iNOS. Additional lungs from CLP and S animals were inflation-fixed for immunohistochemistry using the same antibodies. We found by Western blot that arginase H at 39 kDa was the main isoform present in normal rat lung. The enzyme was distributed diffusely in alveolar and bronchial epithelial cells, endothelial cells, and alveolar macrophages. After CLP, arginase H was almost undetectable in rat lungs at 16 hours. In contrast, in normal lung, the iNOS was not detectable by Western blot or immunohistochemistry. After CLP, strong expression of UfOS was found in similar cell types to arginase II. These data demonstrate loss of constitutive expression of arginase H in rat lung as iNOS is upregulated by the response to sepsis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-268
Number of pages16
JournalExperimental Lung Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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