Objective: To investigate the role of nitric oxide (NO) production and NO synthase (NOS) induction during adjuvant-induced arthritis (AIA) and collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) in Dark Agouti rats.
Methods: Urinary nitrate excretion and immune NOS (INOS) messenger RNA (mRNA) expression were measured in the joint, lymph node, spleen, and liver tissues following the induction of either AIA or CIA.
Results: Urinary nitrate excretion and iNOS mRNA expression increased substantially during joint inflammation in both models of arthritis. However, the increases in urinary nitrate excretion and iNOS mRNA expression observed in the joint, liver, and spleen tissues during AIA were greater than those observed during CIA, although iNOS induction in the lymph nodes was similar for both models. A prior injection with Mycobacterium bovis heat-shock protein resulted in suppression of arthritis and NO production in AIA, but not in CIA.
Conclusion: Differences in NO production during AIA versus CIA are a reflection of the fundamental pathophysiologic differences between these 2 models of arthritis. Thus, NO production in these 2 models could not be merely a nonspecific reaction to the adjuvant injection, nor simply a byproduct of local inflammation in the joint.