Nitric oxide (NO) generated by the inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). In this study mice genetically deficient for iNOS are shown to be susceptible to EAE induced by immunization with myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG). In iNOS (-/-) mice the course of disease was earlier in onset and more aggressive compared to control animals. A disease-relevant compensatory up-regulation of neuronal (n)NOS and endothelial (e)NOS with increased production of NO in iNOS (-/-) mice is excluded by 1) the failure to detect increased nNOS and eNOS mRNA, 2) the absence of detection of nitrosylated tyrosine residues in EAE tissue indicating absence of NO-derived peroxynitrite, and 3) the lack of disease-preventing effects of NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester. In conclusion, these results do not support the hypothesis that NO is crucial for the development of EAE.