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  • 1 University of Ljubljana Veterinary Faculty Small Animal Clinic Gerbičeva 60 1115 Ljubljana Slovenia
  • 2 University of Ljubljana Institute of Microbiology and Parasitology, Veterinary Faculty Ljubljana Slovenia
  • 3 University Clinic of Respiratory and Allergic Diseases Golnik Golnik Slovenia
  • 4 Jožef Stefan Institute Ljubljana Slovenia
  • 5 University of Ljubljana Department for Oral Medicine and Periodontology, Faculty of Medicine Ljubljana Slovenia
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Nitric oxide (NO) production was investigated in the lungs, thoracic aorta, heart, liver, spleen, kidneys and brain of mice inoculated orally with Escherichia coli ATCC 25922. Detection of NO was performed by electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) using diethyldithiocarbamate (DETC) spin trap. Nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitors [nonselective: L-NAME and inducible NOS (iNOS) selective: 1400W] were used to determine the source of NO. Spin-trap only and untreated mice were included as controls. Within 2.5 hours (h) of a single oral inoculation with E. coli half of the animals had increased NO levels in all investigated organs. Thereafter the signals dropped before increasing again to reach maximal median values by 25 h in all organs of all inoculated mice. The most intense response occurred in livers, followed by aorta and lungs. Early (2.5 h) inhibition of the signal was achieved using both NOS inhibitors. L-NAME was also effective at 25 h, while 1400W-treated mice had increased NO levels beyond 7 h. The generalised increase in NO production in the short and longer term indicates a host response to E. coli administered by the oral route of infection.

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