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Brain Res. 2001 May 18;901(1-2):202-7.

Regional distribution of nitric oxide synthase and NADPH-diaphorase activities in the central nervous system of teleosts.

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Department of Biology, University of Bologna, Via Selmi 3, I-40126, Bologna, Italy.


Neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) and NADPH-diaphorase activities were investigated in discrete areas of the central nervous system of goldfish and brown trout. Both species showed a similar distribution pattern of nNOS activity with regional differences in all examined areas. Telencephalon and hypothalamus showed the highest nNOS values, while in the goldfish cerebellum and its valvula nNOS was not detectable. In both species, NADPH-diaphorase activity showed a lower regional variability, compared to nNOS. The highest activity was measured in the olfactory bulbs where, conversely, low levels of nNOS activity were present. The non close correspondence between NOS and NADPH-diaphorase activities confirms the discrepancies indicated by morphological data. Western blot analysis revealed the presence of a nNOS isoform of about 150 kDa mol. wt. corresponding to that of mammals. The pattern of nNOS expression in the considered brain regions of the goldfish and trout was comparable to the levels of the nNOS activity.

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