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Mol Cells. 2005 Jun 30;19(3):408-17.

Immunocytochemical localization of nitric oxide synthase-containing neurons in mouse and rabbit visual cortex and co-localization with calcium-binding proteins.

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Department of Biology, College of Natural Sciences, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 702-701, Korea.


Nitric oxide (NO) occurs in various types of cells in the central nervous system. We studied the distribution and morphology of neuronal nitric oxide synthase (NOS)-containing neurons in the visual cortex of mouse and rabbit with antibody immunocytochemistry. We also compared this labeling to that of calbindin D28K, calretinin, and parvalbumin. Staining for NOS was seen both in the specific layers and in selective cell types. The densest concentration of intense anti-NOS immunoreactive (IR) neurons was found in layer VI, while the weak anti-NOS-IR neurons were found in layer II/III in both animals. The NOS-IR neurons varied in morphology. The large majority of NOS-IR neurons were round or oval cells with many dendrites coursing in all directions. Two-color immunofluorescence revealed that only 16.7% of the NOS-IR cells were double-labeled with calbindin D28K in the mouse visual cortex, while more than half (51.7%) of the NOS-IR cells were double-labeled with calretinin and 25.0% of the NOS-IR cells were double-labeled with parvalbumin in mouse. By contrast, 92.4% of the NOS-IR neurons expressed calbindin D28K while only 2.5% of the NOS-IR neurons expressed calretinin in the rabbit visual cortex. In contrast with the mouse, none of the NOS-IR cells in the rabbit visual cortex were double-labeled with parvalbumin. The results indicate that neurons in the visual cortex of both animals express NOS in specific layers and cell types, which do not correlate with the expression of calbindin D28K, calretinin or parvalbumin between the two animals.

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