Pulmonary NO synthase expression is attenuated in a fetal baboon model of chronic lung disease

Sam Afshar, Linda L. Gibson, Ivan S. Yuhanna, Todd S. Sherman, Jay D. Kerecman, Peter H. Grubb, Bradley A. Yoder, Donald C. McCurnin, Philip W. Shaul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Nitric oxide (NO), produced by NO synthase (NOS), serves multiple functions in the perinatal lung. In fetal baboons, neuronal (nNOS), endothelial (eNOS), and inducible NOS (iNOS) are all primarily expressed in proximal respiratory epithelium. In the present study, NOS expression and activity in proximal lung and minute ventilation of NO standard temperature and pressure (ENOSTP) were evaluated in a model of chronic lung disease (CLD) in baboons delivered at 125 days (d) of gestation (term = 185 d) and ventilated for 14 d, obtaining control lung samples from fetuses at 125 or 140 d of gestation. In contrast to the normal 73% increase in total NOS activity from 125 to 140 d of gestation, there was an 83% decline with CLD. This was related to marked diminutions in both nNOS and eNOS expression and enzymatic activity. nNOS accounted for the vast majority of enzymatic activity in all groups. The normal 3.3-fold maturational rise in iNOS protein expression was blunted in CLD, yet iNOS activity was elevated in CLD compared with at birth. The contribution of iNOS to total NOS activity was minimal in all groups. ENOSTP remained stable in the range of 0.5-1.0 nl·kg-1·min-1 from birth to day 7 of life, and it then rose by 2.5-fold. Thus the baboon model of CLD is characterized by deficiency of the principal pulmonary isoforms, nNOS and eNOS, and enhanced iNOS activity over the first 2 wk of postnatal life. It is postulated that these alterations in NOS expression and activity may contribute to the pathogenesis of CLD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L749-L758
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number5 28-5
StatePublished - May 1 2003


  • Endothelial nitric oxide synthase
  • Exhaled nitric oxide
  • Inducible nitric oxide synthase
  • Neuronal nitric oxide synthase
  • Primate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology (medical)
  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cell Biology


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