Glucosamine inhibits inducible nitric oxide synthesis. Academic Article uri icon


  • Glucosamine is widely used in Europe for treatment of arthritis in humans. Based on recent findings that excess production of nitric oxide (NO) by inducible NO synthase (iNOS) mediates the pathogenesis of arthritis, we hypothesized that glucosamine may inhibit NO synthesis. To test this hypothesis, we used an in vivo rat model of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammation. Intravenous administration of d-glucosamine (0.5 mmol/kg) 6 h before, at the time of, and 6 h after intraperitoneal LPS injection (1 mg/kg) decreased urinary excretion of nitrate by 31 and 48%, respectively, at days 1 and 2 post LPS administration. When cultured macrophages were treated with LPS (1 microg/ml) to induce iNOS expression, addition of 0.1, 0.5, 1, and 2 mM d-glucosamine decreased NO production by 18, 38, 60, and 89%, respectively. Glucosamine had no effect on cellular arginine, NADPH or tetrahydrobiopterin concentrations, but dose-dependently suppressed iNOS protein expression. Similar decreases in iNOS protein occurred in spleen, lung, and peritoneal macrophages of glucosamine-treated rats. These studies demonstrate that glucosamine is a novel inhibitor of inducible NO synthesis via inhibition of iNOS protein expression, and provide a biochemical basis for the use of glucosamine in treating chronic inflammatory diseases such as arthritis.

published proceedings

  • Biochem Biophys Res Commun

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Meininger, C. J., Kelly, K. A., Li, H., Haynes, T. E., & Wu, G.

citation count

  • 70

complete list of authors

  • Meininger, CJ||Kelly, KA||Li, H||Haynes, TE||Wu, G

publication date

  • December 2000