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Skip Navigation LinksHome > April 2010 - Volume 33 - Issue 4 > SEPSIS, LEUKOCYTES, AND NITRIC OXIDE (NO): AN INTRICATE AFFA...
Shock:
doi: 10.1097/SHK.0b013e3181c0f068
Review Article

SEPSIS, LEUKOCYTES, AND NITRIC OXIDE (NO): AN INTRICATE AFFAIR

Fortin, Carl F.*; McDonald, Patrick P.*; Fülöp, Tàmàs; Lesur, Olivier*‡

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Abstract

Sepsis is exceedingly burdensome for hospital intensive care unit caregivers, and its incidence, as well as sepsis-related deaths, is increasing steadily. Sepsis is characterized by a robust increase in NO production throughout the organism that is driven by iNOS. Moreover, NO is an important factor in the development of septic shock and is synthesized by NOS, an enzyme expressed by a variety of cells, including vascular endothelium, macrophages, and neutrophils. However, the effects of NO on leukocyte functions, and the underlying mechanisms, are relatively unknown. Thus, the present review focuses on the effects of NO and its derivatives on cells of the immune system. Experimental evidences discussed herein show that NO induces posttranslational modifications of key proteins in targeted processes with the potential of deterring cellular physiology. Consequently, the manipulation of NO distribution in septic patients, used in conjunction with conventional treatments aimed at restoring normal immune functions, may represent a valuable therapeutic strategy.

©2010The Shock Society

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