Enhancement of the inducible NO synthase activation by retinoic acid is mimicked by RARα agonist in vivo

Carole Seguin-Devaux, Yvan Devaux, Véronique Latger-Cannard, Sandrine Grosjean, Cécile Rochette-Egly, Faiez Zannad, Claude Meistelman, Paul Michel Mertes, Dan Longrois*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


We have previously shown that alltrans retinoic acid (atRA), the active metabolite of vitamin A, enhances the activation of the inducible nitric oxide synthase (NOS II) pathway, a component of innate immunity, in rats in vivo. We investigated the relative contribution of retinoic acid receptor-α (RARα) and retinoid X receptors (RXRs) to NOS II activation triggered by LPS. Five-day supplementation with 10 mg/kg of either atRA or the RARα selective agonist Ro-40-6055, but not with 10 mg/kg of the pan-RXR agonist Ro-25-7386, enhanced the LPS-induced NOS II mRNA, protein expression in liver, and plasma nitrite/nitrate concentration. Both atRA and the RARα agonist (but not the RXR agonist) increased the number of peripheral T helper lymphocytes and plasma interferon-γ concentration. Synergism between retinoids and LPS on NOS II activation within an organ coincided with synergism on interferon regulatory factor-1 mRNA expression but not with the level of expression of the RARα protein. These results suggest that, in vivo, atRA activates NOS II through RARα and contributes to characterizing the complex effect of retinoids on the host inflammatory/immune response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E525-E535
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number3 46-3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Inducible nitric oxide synthase
  • Interferon regulatory factor-1
  • Interferon type II
  • Synthetic retinoids
  • T helper lymphocyte


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