Increasing evidence suggests a correlation between cytokine-induced nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and demyelination in Multiple sclerosis (MS). Inhibition of iNOS may therefore be a novel therapeutic approach in MS. To test an antisense oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) knockdown strategy for inhibiting iNOS, we used lipopolysaccharide (LPS) together with gamma-interferon (IFN-gamma) to induce iNOS in adult mouse mixed glial cell cultures. We administered an iNOS-derived antisense phosphorothiorate oligodeoxynucleotide (S-ODN) to block the induction. The antisense ODN treatment resulted in significant inhibition of LPS and IFN-gamma induced iNOS mRNA and protein expression. It also inhibited nitric oxide (NO) and cyclic GMP (cGMP) production in a dose dependent fashion. Sense and random S-oligo had no effect in any of these studies. These data indicate the efficacy and specificity of the antisense oligodeoxynucleotide approach in inhibiting iNOS in glial cells.
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