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      Promoter polymorphisms of the NOS3 gene are associated with hypnotizability-dependent vascular response to nociceptive stimulation

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          Hypnotizability is associated with a few physiological characteristics also in the normal awake state. Differences in flow-mediated dilation (FMD) have been observed in subjects with high (Highs) or low (Lows) hypnotizability during nociceptive stimulation. FMD is largely due to the nitric oxide (NO) produced by vascular endothelium through the activity of NO synthase (eNOS). Endothelial NOS is encoded by the NOS3 locus. Aim of this pilot study was to investigate the association between genetic polymorphisms of NOS3 involved in NO blood levels and hypnotizability. Nine single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the NOS3 gene were analyzed in the DNA of 24 Highs, 22 Lows, and 61 newborns. Two SNPs, rs1800783 (-1474 T/A) and rs2070744 (-786 T/C), located in the upstream and promoter region of the gene, respectively, showed significant differences between Highs and Lows in allele frequency. Haplotype analysis showed that the newborns were in linkage equilibrium for these SNPs, whereas both Highs and Lows showed linkage disequilibrium. The A-C haplotype (associated with lower NO availability in the general population) was more frequent in Highs, and the T-T haplotype was more frequent in Lows. Thus, the lower FMD reduction observed in Highs during nociceptive stimulation, which is indicative of higher NO availability, should be due to greater efficacy of shear stress-related transcriptional factors and/or to lower effects of NOS inhibitory controls. A consequent theoretical proposal concerns the possible role of NO in the brain vessels where, in stimulation conditions, NO diffusion to the extracellular compartment might be involved in hypnotic responding.

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          Neuroscience Letters
          Neuroscience Letters
          Elsevier BV
          December 2009
          December 2009
          : 467
          : 3
          : 252-255
          © 2009


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