Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nature. 1995 Nov 23;378(6555):383-6.

Behavioural abnormalities in male mice lacking neuronal nitric oxide synthase.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, Behavioral Neuroendocrinology Group, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 21218-2686, USA.


In addition to its role in blood vessel and macrophage function, nitric oxide (NO) is a neurotransmitter found in high densities in emotion-regulating brain regions. Mice with targeted disruption of neuronal NO synthase (nNOS) display grossly normal appearance, locomotor activity, breeding, long-term potentiation and long-term depression. The nNOS- mice are resistant to neural stroke damage following middle cerebral artery ligation. Although CO2-induced cerebral vasodilatation in wild-type mice is NO-dependent, in nNOS- mice this vasodilation is unaffected by NOS inhibitors. Establishing a behavioural role for NO has, until now, not been feasible, as NOS inhibitor drugs can only be administered acutely and because their pronounced effects on blood pressure and other body functions obfuscate behavioural interpretations. We now report a large increase in aggressive behaviour and excess, inappropriate sexual behaviour in nNOS- mice.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk