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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2003 Jun;60(6):1172-9.

Increase in neuronal nitric oxide synthase content of the gastroduodenal tract of diabetic rats.

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  • 1Department of Human Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates University, P.O. Box 17666, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates.


This study examined the changes occurring in the pattern of distribution and expression of neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS)-positive nerves in the gastroduodenal tract of streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. The ganglion cells of the myenteric plexus of the gastric antrum of normal rats contain nNOS. We also observed nNOS-positive neurons and fibres in the myenteric plexus of the duodenum of normal rats. After the onset of diabetes, the number and intensity of staining of nNOS-positive nerve profiles in the gastric antrum and duodenum did not change significantly. However, Western blotting showed a significant increase in the expression of nNOS after the onset of diabetes. In conclusion, diabetes of 4 and 32 weeks duration induced an increase in the tissue content of nNOS in the gastroduodenum of rat. The increase in the level of nNOS in the gastroduodenum of diabetic rats may explain why impaired gastric emptying is common in patients with diabetes.

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