Mechanisms Underlying Growth Hormone Effects in Augmenting Nitric Oxide Production and Protein Tyrosine Nitration during Endotoxin Challenge

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The present study defined the effects of GH administration on components of the nitric oxide (NO)-generating cascade to account for observed increases in NO production and protein nitration after an immune challenge. Calves were assigned to groups with or without GH treatment (100 μg GH/kg body weight or placebo im, daily for 12 d) and with or without low-level endotoxin [lipopolysaccharide (LPS), 2.5 μg/kg, or placebo, iv]. Plasma was obtained for estimation of NO changes as [NO2− + NO3−] (NOx). Transcutaneous liver biopsies were collected for measurement of protein tyrosine nitration, cationic amino acid transporter (CAT)-2 mRNA transporter, and constitutive NO synthase (cNOS), inducible NOS (iNOS), and arginase activity. Liver protein nitration increased more than 10-fold 24 h after LPS and an additional 2-fold in animals treated with GH before LPS. GH increased plasma NOx after LPS to levels 27% greater than those measured in non-GH-treated calves. LPS increased CAT-2 mRNA after LPS; GH was associated with a 24% reduction in CAT-2 mRNA content at the peak time response. cNOS activity was 3-fold greater than iNOS after LPS. NOS activities were increased 140% (cNOS) at 3 h and 169% (iNOS) at 6 h, respectively, after LPS; GH treatment increased cNOS activity and the phosphorylation of endothelial NOS after LPS more than 2-fold over that measured in non-GH-treated calves. The data suggest that an increased production of nitrated protein develops in the liver during low-level, proinflammatory stress, and nitration is increased by GH administration through a direct effect on the competing activities of NOS and arginase, modulatable critical control points in the proinflammatory cascade.

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