Arginine is a common substrate for both inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and arginase. The competition between iNOS and arginase for arginine contributes to the outcome of several parasitic and bacterial infections. Salmonella infection in macrophage cell line RAW264.7 induces iNOS. Because the availability of l-arginine is a major determinant for nitric oxide (NO) synthesis, we hypothesize that in the Salmonella infected macrophages NO production may be regulated by arginase. Here we report for the first time that Salmonella up-regulates arginase II but not arginase I isoform in RAW264.7 macrophages. Blocking arginase increases the substrate l-arginine availability to iNOS for production of more nitric oxide and perhaps peroxynitrite molecules in the infected cells allowing better killing of virulent Salmonella in a NO dependent manner. RAW264.7 macrophages treated with iNOS inhibitor Aminoguanidine reverts the attenuation in arginase-blocked condition. Further, the NO block created by Salmonella was removed by increasing concentration of l-arginine. The whole-mice system arginase I, although constitutive, is much more abundant than the inducible arginase II isoform. Inhibition of arginase activity in mice during the course of Salmonella infection reduces the bacterial burden and delays the disease outcome in a NO dependent manner.
- Nitric oxide