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Mol Med. 2008 Mar-Apr;14(3-4):141-9.

Neuronal nitric oxide synthase contributes to the regulation of hematopoiesis.

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Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, New York 11724, USA.


Nitric oxide (NO) signaling is important for the regulation of hematopoiesis. However, the role of individual NO synthase (NOS) isoforms is unclear. Our results indicate that the neuronal NOS isoform (nNOS) regulates hematopoiesis in vitro and in vivo. nNOS is expressed in adult bone marrow and fetal liver and is enriched in stromal cells. There is a strong correlation between expression of nNOS in a panel of stromal cell lines established from bone marrow and fetal liver and the ability of these cell lines to support hematopoietic stem cells; furthermore, NO donor can further increase this ability. The number of colonies generated in vitro from the bone marrow and spleen of nNOS-null mutants is increased relative to wild-type or inducible- or endothelial NOS knockout mice. These results describe a new role for nNOS beyond its action in the brain and muscle and suggest a model where nNOS, expressed in stromal cells, produces NO which acts as a paracrine regulator of hematopoietic stem cells.

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