Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Neuroscience. 1999;90(4):1483-92.

Lack of involvement of neuronal nitric oxide synthase in the pathogenesis of a transgenic mouse model of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA.

Abstract

A subset of familial cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis are linked to missense mutations in copper/zinc superoxide dismutase type 1. Patients with missense mutations in copper/zinc superoxide dismutase type 1 develop a paralytic disease indistinguishable from sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis through an unknown toxic gain of function. Nitric oxide reacts with the superoxide anion to form the strong oxidant, peroxynitrite, which participates in neuronal injury in a variety of model systems. Peroxynitrite is an alternate substrate for copper/zinc superoxide dismutase type 1, causing catalytic nitration of tyrosine residues in other proteins. Mutations in copper/zinc superoxide dismutase type 1 may disrupt the active site of the enzyme and permit greater access of peroxynitrite to copper, leading to increased nitration by peroxynitrite of critical cellular targets. To investigate whether neuronal-derived nitric oxide plays a role in the pathogenesis of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, we examined the effects of three different nitric oxide synthase inhibitors: a non-selective nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, nitro-L-arginine methyl ester; a relatively selective inhibitor of neuronal nitric oxide synthase, 7-nitroindazole; and a novel highly selective neuronal nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, AR-R 17,477, in transgenic mice expressing a familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-linked mutant human copper/zinc superoxide dismutase type 1 (Gly-->Ala at position 93; G93A) containing a high transgene copy number and a low transgene copy number. AR-R 17,477, but not nitro-L-arginine methyl ester or 7-nitroindazole, significantly prolonged survival in both the high and low transgene transgenic mice. To determine whether neuronal nitric oxide synthase is involved in the pathogenesis resulting from the familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis copper/zinc superoxide dismutase type 1 mutation, we produced mice with the copper/zinc superoxide dismutase type 1 mutation which lack the neuronal nitric oxide synthase gene. The transgenic mice expressing a familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-linked mutant human copper/zinc superoxide dismutase type 1 on neuronal nitric oxide synthase null background do not live significantly longer than transgenic mice expressing a familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-linked mutant human copper/zinc superoxide dismutase type 1. Western blot analysis indicates the presence of two neuronal nitric oxide synthase-like immunoreactive bands in spinal cord homogenates of the neuronal nitric oxide synthase null mice, and residual neuronal nitric oxide synthase catalytic activity ( > 7%) is detected in the spinal cord of the transgenic mice expressing a familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-linked mutant human copper/zinc superoxide dismutase type 1 on neuronal nitric oxide synthase null background. This amount of residual activity probably does not account for lack of protection afforded by the disrupted neuronal nitric oxide synthase gene in the familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-linked mutant human copper/zinc superoxide dismutase type 1 mice. Immunological nitric oxide synthase is not detected in the copper/zinc superoxide dismutase type 1 mutant mice at several different ages, thus excluding immunological nitric oxide synthase as a contributor to the pathogenesis of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Levels of neuronal nitric oxide synthase as well as Ca2+-dependent nitric oxide synthase catalytic activity in the copper/zinc superoxide dismutase type 1 mutant mice do not differ from wild type mice. Endothelial nitric oxide synthase levels may be decreased in the copper/zinc superoxide dismutase type 1 mutant mice. Together, these results do not support a significant role for neuronal-derived nitric oxide in the pathogenesis of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis transgenic mice.

PMID:
10338314
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center