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Neurochem Int. 2003 Mar;42(4):315-22.

Activation of constitutive nitric oxide synthase(s) and absence of inducible isoform in aged rat brain.

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  • 1Department of Cellular Signalling, Medical Research Centre, Polish Academy of Sciences, 5 Pawinskiego St. PL-02106 Warsaw, Poland.

Abstract

In this study, the effect of aging on nitric oxide synthases (NOS) was investigated in homogenates and cytosolic fractions from hippocampus, brain cortex and cerebellum of adult, old adult and old Wistar rats (3-4, 14, and 24 months old, respectively). Our results indicate the enhancement of Ca(2+) and calmoduline-dependent NOS activity in all investigated aged brain parts. Significantly higher NOS activity was found in the cerebellum. In the absence of Ca(2+) or in the presence of N-nitro-L-arginine (NNLA) the activity of NOS was absent. Inhibitor of constitutive NOS isoforms which preferentially inhibits neuronal NOS (nNOS), 7-nitroindazole, decreased NOS activity by 60 and 75% in adult and aged brain, respectively. However, using RT-PCR a significantly lower amount of mRNA for nNOS was detected in hippocampus. The ratio of NOS activity to nNOS mRNA was significantly higher in hippocampus and cerebellum of aged brain. No expression of the gene for inducible NOS was observed in adult and aged brain. These results indicate that probably nNOS is responsible for higher NOS activity in aged brain. Our data suggest that alteration of nNOS phosphorylation state may be responsible for the activation of NOS in aged brain. The down-regulation of nNOS mRNA expression may be an adaptive mechanism that protects the brain against excessive NO release.

PMID:
12470705
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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