Nitric oxide (NO) derived from endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) plays a role in preserving and maintaining the brain's microcirculation, inhibiting platelet aggregation, leukocyte adhesion, and migration. Inhibition of eNOS activity results in exacerbation of neuronal injury after ischemia by triggering diverse cellular mechanisms, including inflammatory responses. To examine the relative contribution of eNOS in stroke-induced neuroinflammation, we analyzed the effects of systemic treatment with l-N-(1-iminoethyl)ornithine (L-NIO), a relatively selective eNOS inhibitor, on the expression of MiR-155-5p, a key mediator of innate immunity regulation and endothelial dysfunction, in the cortex of male rats subjected to transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAo) followed by 24 hr of reperfusion. Inducible NO synthase (iNOS) and interleukin-10 (IL-10) mRNA expression were evaluated by real-time polymerase chain reaction in cortical homogenates and in resident and infiltrating immune cells isolated from ischemic cortex. These latter cells were also analyzed for their expression of CD40, a marker of M1 polarization of microglia/macrophages.tMCAo produced a significant elevation of miR155-5p and iNOS expression in the ischemic cortex as compared with sham surgery. eNOS inhibition by L-NIO treatment further elevated the cortical expression of these inflammatory mediators, while not affecting IL-10 mRNA levels. Interestingly, modulation of iNOS occurred in resident and infiltrating immune cells of the ischemic hemisphere. Accordingly, L-NIO induced a significant increase in the percentage of CD40+events in CD68+microglia/macrophages of the ischemic cortex as compared with vehicle-injected animals. These findings demonstrate that inflammatory responses may underlie the detrimental effects due to pharmacological inhibition of eNOS in cerebral ischemia.
- Journal Article