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      Expression of Hypothalamic Peptides in Mice Lacking Neuronal Nitric Oxide Synthase: Reduced β-END Immunoreactivity in the Arcuate Nucleus

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          Abstract

          The gas nitric oxide (NO) is an important messenger in brain signaling. Along with many other functions, NO is thought to influence the expression and/or release of various hypothalamic hormones (corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) and vasopressin). To learn more about the role of NO in neuroendocrine mechanisms, we studied in mutant mice lacking neuronal isoform of NO synthase (nNOS) the cellular expression of CRH, neurophysin (the carrier protein of vasopressin/oxytocin) and pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC), as well as of the POMC-derived peptides β-endorphin (β-END), α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) and corticotropin (ACTH) by use of immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization. Additionally, the remaining NO-generating capacities of the nNOS minus mice were investigated by NADPH-diaphorase histochemistry and citrulline immunohistochemistry as well as by immunohistochemical localization and Western blot analysis of endothelial NOS (eNOS) and nNOS isoforms. Amongst all hypothalamic peptides under investigation, only β-END was found to be altered in mutant mice. A morphometric analysis of β-END producing neurons of the arcuate nucleus revealed that significantly less cells were immunoreactive in mutant mice, whereas the expression of the precursor POMC as well as of other POMC-derived peptides was found to be unchanged. In addition to that, fewer β-END-immunoreactive fibers were found in the paraventricular nucleus of nNOS minus mice in comparison to wild-type animals. Hence, the reduction of hypothalamic β-END is probably a posttranslational event that might reflect a disturbed endorphinergic innervation of those hypothalamic neurons which normally express nNOS.

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          Most cited references 4

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          Mandatory neuropeptide-steroid signaling for the preovulatory luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone discharge

           S P Kalra (1993)
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            Nitric oxide modulates the release of corticotropin-releasing hormone from the rat hypothalamus in vitro.

            There is now considerable evidence that nitric oxide (NO) is an important neuroregulatory agent, but there has been very little investigation of the possible role of NO in neuroendocrine mechanisms. We have previously shown that acute rat hypothalamic explants can be used to study the regulation of hypothalamic neuropeptide release, and we have now utilised this experimental approach to investigate the putative involvement of NO in the control of the principal corticotropin-releasing hormone, CRH. We studied the direct effects of the NO precursor L-arginine (L-ARG), as well as the NO donors molsidomine and sodium nitroprusside, on both the basal and stimulated release of CRH; the stimuli used were non-specific depolarisation with potassium chloride (KCl) and the specific cytokine, interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta; 100 U/ml). L-ARG was tested in each experimental condition with and without contemporaneous addition of its competitive antagonist NG-monomethyl-L-arginine (L-NMMA). IL-1 beta-induced CRH release was also investigated in the presence of D-arginine (D-ARG), which is not active as a precursor to NO, and ferrous hemoglobin (Hb), a substance which is a potent inactivator of NO. None of the NO precursors (L-ARG, molsidomine, sodium nitroprusside) or antagonists (L-NMMA or Hb) was able to affect basal CRH release. However, L-ARG 10 and 100 microM were found to significantly inhibit the release of CRH induced by 40 mM KCl; CRH fell to 45% of its stimulated level at the higher dose of L-ARG. This effect was attenuated in the presence of L-NMMA at a ten-fold higher dose.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
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              Ultrastructural demonstration of NADPH-diaphorase histochemical activity in the supraoptic nucleus of normal and dehydrated rats

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                NEN
                Neuroendocrinology
                10.1159/issn.0028-3835
                Neuroendocrinology
                S. Karger AG
                0028-3835
                1423-0194
                1998
                December 1998
                18 December 1998
                : 68
                : 6
                : 403-411
                Affiliations
                a Department of Psychiatry and b Institute of Medical Neurobiology, University of Magdeburg, Germany, and c Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, Mass., USA
                Article
                54390 Neuroendocrinology 1998;68:403–411
                10.1159/000054390
                9873204
                © 1998 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                Page count
                Figures: 6, References: 37, Pages: 9
                Categories
                Ontogeny and Regulation of Hypothalamic Neurons

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