Role of nitric oxide synthesis in macrophage antimicrobial activity

Curr Opin Immunol. 1991 Feb;3(1):65-70. doi: 10.1016/0952-7915(91)90079-g.


Research over the past 5 years has demonstrated that immunologic activation of mouse macrophages induces the activity of nitric oxide synthase, which oxidizes a guanidino nitrogen of L-arginine, yielding citrulline and the reactive radical, nitric oxide. A review of the biochemistry and immunologic regulation of this pathway in macrophages provides a backdrop against which to evaluate its effector functions. Reports published in the past 2 years suggest that synthesis of NO mediates much of the antimicrobial activity of mouse macrophages against some fungal, helminthic, protozoal and bacterial pathogens.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Oxidoreductases
  • Animals
  • Bacteria / immunology
  • Eukaryota / immunology
  • Fungi / immunology
  • Immunity, Cellular*
  • Macrophage Activation / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Nitric Oxide / immunology
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism*
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase
  • Rats


  • Nitric Oxide
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase
  • Amino Acid Oxidoreductases