Our laboratory has previously shown that after immunization with a strain of Salmonella typhimurium, SL3235, made avirulent by a blockage in the pathway of aromatic synthesis, murine splenocytes were profoundly suppressed in their capacity to mount an in vitro antibody plaque-forming cell (PFC) response to sheep erythrocytes. Evidence indicated that suppression was mediated by nitric oxide (NO), since the in vitro addition of N(G)-monomethyl-L-arginine blocked suppression. The present studies examined the effect of blocking NO production on Salmonella-induced immunosuppression by in vivo administration of aminoguanidine hemisulfate (AG). AG was administered to C3HeB/FeJ mice in their drinking water (2.5% solution) for 7 days prior to intraperitoneal inoculation with SL3235. AG treatment inhibited the increase in nitrate and nitrite levels in plasma and nitrite levels in the spleen seen in immunized mice. Importantly, AG treatment completely blocked suppression of the splenic PFC response and markedly attenuated the suppression of the response to concanavalin A in immunized mice, providing further evidence that Salmonella-induced immunosuppression is mediated by NO. AG treatment also alleviated the majority of the splenomegaly associated with SL3235 inoculation, which correlated with a blockage of influx of neutrophils and macrophages into spleens, as assessed by flow cytometry. AG treatment unexpectedly resulted in 90% mortality in mice injected with the highly attenuated vaccine strain of Salmonella, SL3235. Increased mortality in AG-treated mice correlated with inability to clear organisms from the spleen by day 15 postinoculation and with persistent bacteremia, compared with control mice. Collectively, these in vivo results underscore the dual biological consequences of NO production following Salmonella infection, with NO being necessary for host defense, but also having the potentially adverse effect of immunosuppression. A unifying hypothesis to explain how these seemingly paradoxical effects could both result from NO production is presented.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases