Inducible nitric oxide synthase during the late phase of sepsis is associated with hypothermia and immune cell migration

Yudai Takatani, Kenji Ono, Hiromi Suzuki, Masato Inaba, Makoto Sawada, Naoyuki Matsuda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Hypothermia is a significant sign of sepsis, which is associated with poor prognosis, but few mechanisms underlying the regulation of hypothermia are known. Inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) is a key inflammatory mediator of sepsis. However, the therapeutic benefit of iNOS inhibition in sepsis is still controversial, and requires elucidation in an accurate model system. In this study, wild-type (WT) mice showed temperature drops in a biphasic manner at the early and late phase of sepsis, and all mice died within 48 h of sepsis. In contrast, iNOS-knockout (KO) mice never showed the second temperature drop and exhibited improved mortality. Plasma nitric oxide (NO) levels of WT mice increased in the late phase of sepsis and correlated to hypothermia. The results indicate that iNOS-derived NO during the late phase of sepsis caused vasodilation-induced hypothermia and a lethal hypodynamic state. The expression of the iNOS mRNA was high in the lung of WT mice with sepsis, which reflects the pathology of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). We obtained the results in a modified keyhole-type cecal ligation and puncture model of septic shock induced by minimally invasive surgery. In this accurate and reproducible model system, we transplanted the bone marrow cells of GFP transgenic mice into WT and iNOS-KO mice, and evaluated the role of increased pulmonary iNOS expression in cell migration during the late phase of sepsis. We also investigated the quantity and type of bone marrow-derived cells (BMDCs) in the lung. The number of BMDCs in the lung of iNOS-KO mice was less than that in the lung of WT mice. The major BMDCs populations were CD11b-positive, iNOS-negative cells in WT mice, and Gr-1-positive cells in iNOS-KO mice that expressed iNOS. These results suggest that sustained hypothermia may be a beneficial guide for future iNOS-targeted therapy of sepsis, and that iNOS modulated the migratory efficiency and cell type of BMDCs in septic ARDS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)629-639
Number of pages11
JournalLaboratory Investigation
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 01-05-2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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