Cerebrospinal fluid nitrite/nitrate levels in neurologic diseases

Sheldon Milstien, Naoki Sakai, Bruce J. Brew, Charles Krieger, James H. Vickers, Kuniaki Saito, Melvyn P. Heyes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Citations (Scopus)


Nitric oxide has been proposed to mediate cytotoxic effects in inflammatory diseases. To investigate the possibility that overproduction of nitric oxide might play a role in the neuropathology of inflammatory and noninflammatory neurological diseases, we compared levels of the markers of nitric oxide, nitrite plus nitrate, in the CSF of controls with those in patients with various neurologic diseases, including Huntington's and Alzheimer's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and HIV infection. We found that there were no significant increases in the CSF levels of these nitric oxide metabolites, even in patients infected with HIV or in monkeys infected with poliovirus, both of which have significantly elevated levels of the neurotoxin quinolinic acid and the marker of macrophage activation, neopterin. However, CSF quinolinic acid, neopterin, and nitrite/nitrate levels were significantly increased in a small group of patients with bacterial and viral meningitis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1178-1180
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of neurochemistry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 09-1994
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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