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Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 1998 Jan;53(1-2):1-12.

Precise distribution of neuronal nitric oxide synthase mRNA in the rat brain revealed by non-radioisotopic in situ hybridization.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Genetics, Kumamoto University School of Medicine, Kuhonji 4-24-1, Kumamoto 862, Japan.


Regional distribution of neurons expressing neuronal nitric oxide synthase mRNA in the rat brain was examined by non-radioisotopic in situ hybridization, using digoxigenin-labeled complementary RNA probes. Clustering of intensely positive neurons was observed in discrete areas including the main and accessory olfactory bulbs, the islands of Calleja, the amygdala, the paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus, several hypothalamic nuclei, the lateral geniculate nucleus, the magnocellular nucleus of the posterior commissure, the superior and inferior colliculi, the laterodorsal and pedunculopontine tegmental nuclei, the nucleus of the trapezoid body, the nucleus of the solitary tract and the cerebellum. Strongly-stained isolated neurons were scattered mainly in the cerebral cortex, the basal ganglia and the brain stem, especially the medulla reticular formation. In the hippocampus, an almost uniform distribution of moderately stained neurons was observed in the granular cell layer of the dentate gyrus and in the pyramidal cell layer of the Ammon's horn, while more intensely stained isolated neurons were scattered over the entire hippocampal region. These observations can serve as a good basis for studies on function and gene regulation of neuronal nitric oxide synthase.

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