Demonstration of nitric oxide synthase activity in crustacean hemocytes and anti-microbial activity of hemocyte-derived nitric oxide

Feng Ching Yeh, Su Hua Wu, Chi Yung Lai, Chi Ying Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Citations (Scopus)


We determined the biochemical characteristics of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) in hemocytes of the crayfish Procambarus clarkii and investigated the roles of hemocyte-derived NO in host defense. Biochemical analysis indicated the presence of a Ca2+-independent NOS activity, which was elevated by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) treatment. When bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus) and hemocytes were co-incubated, adhesion of bacteria to hemocytes was observed. NO donor sodium nitroprusside (SNP) significantly increased the numbers of hemocytes to which bacteria adhered. Similarly, LPS elicited bacterial adhesion and the LPS-induced adhesion was prevented by NOS inhibitor NG-monomethyl-l-arginine (l-NMMA). Finally, plate count assay demonstrated that addition of LPS to the hemocytes/bacteria co-incubation resulted in a significant decrease in bacterial colony forming unit (CFU), and that l-NMMA reversed the decreasing effect of LPS on CFU. The combined results demonstrate the presence of a Ca2+-independent LPS-inducible NOS activity in crayfish hemocytes and suggest that hemocyte-derived NO is involved in promoting bacterial adhesion to hemocytes and enhancing bactericidal activity of hemocytes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-17
Number of pages7
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology - B Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006 May


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology

Cite this