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      Nitric oxide, a novel biologic messenger

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      Cell

      Elsevier BV

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          Localization of nitric oxide synthase indicating a neural role for nitric oxide.

          Nitric oxide (NO), apparently identical to endothelium-derived relaxing factor in blood vessels, is also formed by cytotoxic macrophages, in adrenal gland and in brain tissue, where it mediates the stimulation by glutamate of cyclic GMP formation in the cerebellum. Stimulation of intestinal or anococcygeal nerves liberates NO, and the resultant muscle relaxation is blocked by arginine derivatives that inhibit NO synthesis. It is, however, unclear whether in brain or intestine, NO released following nerve stimulation is formed in neurons, glia, fibroblasts, muscle or blood cells, all of which occur in proximity to neurons and so could account for effects of nerve stimulation on cGMP and muscle tone. We have now localized NO synthase protein immunohistochemically in the rat using antisera to the purified enzyme. We demonstrate NO synthase in the brain to be exclusively associated with discrete neuronal populations. NO synthase is also concentrated in the neural innervation of the posterior pituitary, in autonomic nerve fibres in the retina, in cell bodies and nerve fibres in the myenteric plexus of the intestine, in adrenal medulla, and in vascular endothelial cells. These prominent neural localizations provide the first conclusive evidence for a strong association of NO with neurons.
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            Role of nitric oxide synthesis in macrophage antimicrobial activity.

            Research over the past 5 years has demonstrated that immunologic activation of mouse macrophages induces the activity of nitric oxide synthase, which oxidizes a guanidino nitrogen of L-arginine, yielding citrulline and the reactive radical, nitric oxide. A review of the biochemistry and immunologic regulation of this pathway in macrophages provides a backdrop against which to evaluate its effector functions. Reports published in the past 2 years suggest that synthesis of NO mediates much of the antimicrobial activity of mouse macrophages against some fungal, helminthic, protozoal and bacterial pathogens.
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              Cloned and expressed nitric oxide synthase structurally resembles cytochrome P-450 reductase.

              Nitric oxide is a messenger molecule, mediating the effect of endothelium-derived relaxing factor in blood vessels and the cytotoxic actions of macrophages, and playing a part in neuronal communication in the brain. Cloning of a complementary DNA for brain nitric oxide synthase reveals recognition sites for NADPH, FAD, flavin mononucleotide and calmodulin as well as phosphorylation sites, indicating that the synthase is regulated by many different factors. The only known mammalian enzyme with close homology is cytochrome P-450 reductase.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Cell
                Cell
                Elsevier BV
                00928674
                September 1992
                September 1992
                : 70
                : 5
                : 705-707
                Article
                10.1016/0092-8674(92)90301-R
                1381285
                © 1992

                https://www.elsevier.com/tdm/userlicense/1.0/

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