Experimental studies on possible regulatory role of nitric oxide on the differential effects of chronic predictable and unpredictable stress on adaptive immune responses

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The present study was designed to investigate the effects of chronic predictable stress (CPS) and chronic unpredictable stress (CUS) on immunological responses in KLH-sensitized rats and involvement of NOergic signaling pathways mediating such responses. Male Wistar rats (200–250 g) were exposed to either CPS or CUS for 14 days and IgG antibody levels and delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH) response was determined to assess changes in adaptive immunity. To evaluate the role of nitric oxide during such immunomodulation, biochemical estimation of stable metabolite of nitric oxide (NOx) and 3-nitrotyrosine (3-NT, a marker of peroxynitrite formation) were done in both blood and brain. Chronic stress exposure resulted in suppression of IgG and DTH response and elevated NOx and 3-NT levels, with a difference in magnitude of response in CPS vs CUS. Pretreatment with aminoguanidine (iNOS inhibitor) caused further reduction of adaptive immune responses and attenuated the increased NOx and 3-NT levels in CPS or CUS exposed rats. On the other hand 7-NI (nNOS inhibitor) did not significantly affect these estimated parameters. The results suggest involvement of iNOS and lesser/no role of nNOS during modulation of adaptive immunity to stress. Thus, the result showed that predictability of stressors results in differential degree of modulation of immune responses and complex NO-mediated signaling mechanisms may be involved during responses.

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