Inducible nitric oxide synthase expression is selectively induced in astrocytes isolated from adult human brain

Meng Liang Zhao, Judy S.h. Liu, Deke He, Dennis W. Dickson, Sunhee C. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

61 Scopus citations


Inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression has been shown to be differentially regulated among different cell types and species. In cultures of primary human fetal glial cells, we have shown that astrocytes rather than microglia express iNOS. In the present study, we extended these findings to primary cultures of astrocytes and microglia derived from adult human brains. Mixed cultures of adult brain tissue were stimulated with IL-1β and IFNγ, a combination known to induce iNOS maximally in human fetal cells, and the expression of iNOS was determined by immunocytochemistry. Cell types were determined by morphology as well as immunocytochemistry for GFAP (astrocytes) and CD68 (microglia). The results showed that in cultures of adult human glia, iNOS was expressed following stimulation with cytokines, and the expression was restricted to astrocytes. Astrocyte iNOS immunoreactivity was detected both in the cytosol and in a discrete paranuclear region, a pattern noted in human fetal astrocytes. These results demonstrate that the ability to express iNOS is common to both fetal and adult human astrocytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)402-405
Number of pages4
JournalBrain research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 7 1998



  • Adult
  • Astrocyte
  • Culture
  • Cytokine
  • Human
  • Nitric oxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology

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