Nitric oxide synthase stimulates prostaglandin synthesis and barrier function in C. parvum-infected porcine ileum

Jody L. Gookin, Laurel L. Duckett, Martha U. Armstrong, Stephen H. Stauffer, Colleen P. Finnegan, Michael P. Murtaugh, Robert A. Argenzio

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36 Scopus citations


Cell culture models implicate increased nitric oxide (NO) synthesis as a cause of mucosal hyperpermeability in intestinal epithelial infection. NO may also mediate a multitude of subepithelial events, including activation of cyclooxygenases. We examined whether NO promotes barrier function via prostaglandin synthesis using Cryptosporidium parvum-infected ileal epithelium in residence with an intact submucosa. Expression of NO synthase (NOS) isoforms was examined by real-time RT-PCR of ileal mucosa from control and C. parvum-infected piglets. The isoforms mediating and mechanism of NO action on barrier function were assessed by measuring transepithelial resistance (TER) and eicosanoid synthesis by ileal mucosa mounted in Ussing chambers in the presence of selective and nonselective NOS inhibitors and after rescue with exogenous prostaglandins. C. parvum infection results in induction of mucosal inducible NOS (iNOS), increased synthesis of NO and PGE2, and increased mucosal permeability. Nonselective inhibition of NOS (NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester) inhibited prostaglandin synthesis, resulting in further increases in paracellular permeability. Baseline permeability was restored in the absence of NO by exogenous PGE2. Selective inhibition of iNOS [L-N 6-(1-iminoethyl)-L-lysine] accounted for ∼50% of NOS-dependent PGE2 synthesis and TER. Using an entire intestinal mucosa, we have demonstrated for the first time that NO serves as a proximal mediator of PGE2 synthesis and barrier function in C. parvum infection. Expression of iNOS by infected mucosa was without detriment to overall barrier function and may serve to promote clearance of infected enterocytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G571-G581
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number3 50-3
StatePublished - Sep 2004


  • Cryptosporidium parvum
  • Permeability


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