Ethanol suppresses LPS-induced mRNA for nitric oxide synthase II in alveolar macrophages in vivo and in vitro

Alcohol. 1994 Nov-Dec;11(6):539-47. doi: 10.1016/0741-8329(94)90081-7.


Alcohol abuse increases the incidence and severity of opportunistic lung infections and pneumonias. Inducible nitric oxide (NO) synthase (iNOS II) and NO may be a pivotal system in the intracellular bactericidal activity of macrophages. We tested the hypothesis that acute administration of ethanol (ETOH) suppressed Escherichia coli endotoxin lipopolysaccharide (LPS) mediated upregulation of the iNOS II system in the lung of the rat, in vivo. We also tested the effect of ETOH on alveolar macrophage (AM) production of free NO using microelectrodes. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were given ETOH (5.5 g/kg, IP) 30 min. before giving intratracheal sterile phosphate buffered saline solution (PBS, 0.5 ml) or LPS (1 mg/kg in a total volume of 0.5 ml PBS). The isolated lungs were subjected to bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) 3.5 hr. later. Aliquots of the BAL fluid were assayed for tumor necrosis factor alpha TNF alpha and reactive nitrogen intermediates (nitrate and nitrite) (RNI) with chemiluminescence. Aliquots of AM were incubated 1 hr ex vivo for spontaneous production of RNI or frozen and assayed for iNOS II mRNA with competitor exchange reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (cERT-PCR). The lung was homogenized and assayed for RNI. LPS increased BAL fluid TNF alpha and RNI, lung RNI, and the spontaneous production of RNI by AM, ex vivo. These effects were inhibited by in vivo administration of inhibitors of iNOS II. LPS increased iNOS mRNA in AM. This was unaffected by iNOS inhibitors. ETOH suppressed LPS-induced BAL fluid TNF, iNOS mRNA and RNI production by AM and the lung.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Oxidoreductases / genetics*
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / chemistry
  • Ethanol / pharmacology*
  • Lipopolysaccharides / pharmacology*
  • Lung / metabolism
  • Macrophages, Alveolar / enzymology*
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nitrates / analysis
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase
  • Nitrites / analysis
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / analysis


  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Nitrates
  • Nitrites
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Ethanol
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase
  • Amino Acid Oxidoreductases