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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1997 Dec 23;94(26):14848-53.

Targeted gene deletion of heme oxygenase 2 reveals neural role for carbon monoxide.

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  • 1Department of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 725 North Wolfe Street Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.


Neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) generates NO in neurons, and heme-oxygenase-2 (HO-2) synthesizes carbon monoxide (CO). We have evaluated the roles of NO and CO in intestinal neurotransmission using mice with targeted deletions of nNOS or HO-2. Immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated colocalization of nNOS and HO-2 in myenteric ganglia. Nonadrenergic noncholinergic relaxation and cyclic guanosine 3',5' monophosphate elevations evoked by electrical field stimulation were diminished markedly in both nNOSDelta/Delta and HO-2(Delta)/Delta mice. In wild-type mice, NOS inhibitors and HO inhibitors partially inhibited nonadrenergic noncholinergic relaxation. In nNOSDelta/Delta animals, NOS inhibitors selectively lost their efficacy, and HO inhibitors were inactive in HO-2(Delta)/Delta animals.

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