Role of neuronal nitric oxide synthase in ovine sepsis model

Shock. 2009 Sep;32(3):253-7. doi: 10.1097/SHK.0b013e318193e2ba.


Smoke inhalation injury is often complicated with pneumonia, which frequently leads to subsequent development of sepsis. Excessive NO has been shown to mediate many sepsis-related pathological responses. In the present study, we used our well-established ovine smoke inhalation and pneumonia/sepsis model to examine the hypothesis that neuronal NO synthase (NOS) may be primarily responsible for these pathological alterations. We report the beneficial effects of the specific neuronal NOS (nNOS) inhibitor ZK234238. Adult female sheep were surgically prepared for the study. After 5 to 7 days' recovery, sheep were anesthetized and given double injury: insufflation of 48 breaths of cotton smoke (<40 degrees C) into the airway of each animal and subsequent instillation of live Pseudomonas aeruginosa (5 x 10(11) colony-forming units) into each sheep's lung via tracheostomy tube. All sheep were mechanically ventilated and fluid resuscitated by lactated Ringer's solution. Sheep were randomly allocated into groups: control (injured not treated, n = 6) and treated (injured, but treated with ZK234238, n = 4). Continuous infusion of ZK234238 (100 microg x kg(-1) x h(-1)) was started 1 h after insult. ZK234238 attenuated the hypotension (at 18 and 24 h) and fall in systemic vascular resistance (at 24 h) seen in control animals. ZK234238 significantly inhibited increased fluid accumulation as well as increased plasma nitrate/nitrite 24 h after injury. Neuronal NOS inhibition significantly reduced lung water content and attenuated inflammatory indices such as lung tissue myeloperoxidase activity, IL-6 mRNA, and reactive nitrogen species. The above results suggest that the nNOS-derived NO may be involved in the pathophysiology of sepsis-related multiorgan dysfunction.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Hemodynamics
  • Interleukin-6 / genetics
  • Lung / drug effects
  • Lung / metabolism
  • Lung / pathology
  • Lung Injury / drug therapy
  • Lung Injury / metabolism
  • Lung Injury / microbiology
  • Lung Injury / pathology
  • Nitrates / blood
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type I / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type I / metabolism*
  • Nitrites / blood
  • Oxazines / pharmacology
  • Oxazines / therapeutic use
  • Peroxidase / metabolism
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / pathogenicity
  • Random Allocation
  • Reactive Nitrogen Species / metabolism
  • Sepsis / drug therapy
  • Sepsis / enzymology*
  • Sepsis / metabolism
  • Sepsis / pathology
  • Sheep
  • Smoke Inhalation Injury / drug therapy
  • Smoke Inhalation Injury / metabolism
  • Smoke Inhalation Injury / pathology


  • Interleukin-6
  • Nitrates
  • Nitrites
  • Oxazines
  • Reactive Nitrogen Species
  • ZK 234238
  • Peroxidase
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type I