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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Inducible nitric oxide has protective effect on fumonisin B(1) hepatotoxicity in mice via modulation of sphingosine kinase.

Fumonisin B(1), a mycotoxin, is an inhibitor of ceramide synthase causing marked dysregulation of sphingolipid metabolism in cells. This mycotoxin causes accumulation of free sphingoid bases (sphingosine and dihydrosphingosine or sphinganine) and their metabolites, important messengers involved in signal transduction leading to either cell survival or death. Free sphingoid bases are known apoptotic molecules whereas sphingosine 1-phosphate is protective. We previously reported that fumonisin B(1) caused sphingosine kinase (SPHK) induction along with the increase of serine palmitoyltransferase (SPT). Fumonisin B(1) also increased inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression. In the current study we employed a mouse strain with the targeted deletion of iNOS gene (Nos-KO) to evaluate the role of nitric oxide (NO) on fumonisin B(1)-induced hepatotoxicity. The Nos-KO mice exhibited increased hepatotoxicity after subacute fumonisin B(1) exposure compared to their wild type counterparts, the liver regeneration was lower in Nos-KO compared to that in the WT mice. Increased hepatotoxicity in Nos-KO was not related to the extent of free sphingoid base accumulation after fumonisin B(1) treatment; however, it was accompanied by a lack of fumonisin B(1)-induced SPHK induction. The fumonisin B(1)-induced SPT was unaffected by lack of iNOS gene. Deletion of iNOS gene did not prevent fumonisin B(1)-dependent induction of inflammatory cytokines, namely tumor necrosis factor alpha, interferon gamma and interleukin-12. The lack of fumonisin B(1)-induced SPHK induction in Nos-KO was supported by a similar effect on phosphorylated metabolites of sphingoid bases; the equilibrium between sphingoid bases and their phosphates is maintained by SPHK. We therefore conclude that iNOS induction produced by fumonisin B(1) modulates SPHK activity; the lack of iNOS prevents generation of sphingosine 1-phosphate and deprives cells from its protective effects.[1]


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