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Cell Tissue Res. 1995 Sep;281(3):493-9.

Species-independent expression of nitric oxide synthase in the sarcolemma region of visceral and somatic striated muscle fibers.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy, Free University of Berlin, Germany.


The expression and distribution of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) was studied by use of the newly designed specific histochemical NADPH diaphorase staining method and the indirect immunofluorescence technique employing an antiserum to brain NOS in visceral and somatic striated muscles of several mammalian species. Histochemical activity and immunoreactivity were located in the sarcolemma region of type I and II fibers of all muscles investigated. Visceral muscles were more strongly stained than somatic muscles. Furthermore, type II fibers, identified by staining of myosin adenosine triphosphatase activity after pre-incubation at alkaline pH, were more intensely labeled than type I fibers. In addition, NOS activity was detected in the area of the sarcolemma of intrafusal fibers. No obvious differences between species were observed. It was concluded that NOS of striated muscles probably makes up the richest and most important nitric oxide source in mammals.

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