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

Evidence for the production of nitric oxide by activated macrophages treated with the antitumor agents flavone-8-acetic acid and xanthenone-4-acetic acid.

Activated peritoneal macrophages, obtained from mice pretreated with Bacillus Calmette-Guérin, after exposure in vitro to flavone-8-acetic acid ( FAA; NSC 347512) at a concentration of 890 microM, produce nitrite (3.7 nmol/10(6) cells), as measured 20 h later by the Griess reaction. Stimulation of nitrite production was inhibited at least 90% by NG-monomethylarginine (125 microM), suggesting that nitrite was formed via nitric oxide as a product of arginine metabolism. Stimulation was only partially inhibited by dexamethasone (0.1 microM). The ability of xanthenone-4-acetic acid (XAA) and three of its analogues to stimulate nitrite production was also investigated. 5,6-Dimethyl-XAA stimulated nitrite production (12.6 nmol/10(6) cells) at an optimal concentration of 80 microM, 8-methyl-XAA was without effect, and XAA and 5-methyl-XAA showed intermediate activity. The optimal in vitro drug concentrations for stimulation by FAA, XAA, and active XAA analogues correlated with the optimal in vivo dose required for the induction of either hemorrhagic necrosis or growth delay of s.c. Colon 38 tumors. These results strongly imply that FAA and active XAA derivatives function as low molecular weight stimulators of nitric oxide formation in macrophages, possibly acting on the same differentiation pathway as do endotoxin and tumor necrosis factor alpha. We suggest that nitric oxide, which is known to be toxic to tumor cells, contributes to the cytotoxic action of FAA and its analogues.[1]


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