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Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2015 Jan;52(1):37-45. doi: 10.1165/rcmb.2013-0359OC.

Hypoxia-induced changes in protein s-nitrosylation in female mouse brainstem.

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1 Department of Pediatrics, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, Virginia.


Exposure to hypoxia elicits an increase in minute ventilation that diminishes during continued exposure (roll-off). Brainstem N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) and neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) contribute to the initial hypoxia-induced increases in minute ventilation. Roll-off is regulated by platelet-derived growth factor receptor-β (PDGFR-β) and S-nitrosoglutathione (GSNO) reductase (GSNOR). S-nitrosylation inhibits activities of NMDAR and nNOS, but enhances GSNOR activity. The importance of S-nitrosylation in the hypoxic ventilatory response is unknown. This study confirms that ventilatory roll-off is virtually absent in female GSNOR(+/-) and GSNO(-/-) mice, and evaluated the location of GSNOR in female mouse brainstem, and temporal changes in GSNOR activity, protein expression, and S-nitrosylation status of GSNOR, NMDAR (1, 2A, 2B), nNOS, and PDGFR-β during hypoxic challenge. GSNOR-positive neurons were present throughout the brainstem, including the nucleus tractus solitarius. Protein abundances for GSNOR, nNOS, all NMDAR subunits and PDGFR-β were not altered by hypoxia. GSNOR activity and S-nitrosylation status temporally increased with hypoxia. In addition, nNOS S-nitrosylation increased with 3 and 15 minutes of hypoxia. Changes in NMDAR S-nitrosylation were detected in NMDAR 2B at 15 minutes of hypoxia. No hypoxia-induced changes in PDGFR-β S-nitrosylation were detected. However, PDGFR-β phosphorylation increased in the brainstems of wild-type mice during hypoxic exposure (consistent with roll-off), whereas it did not rise in GSNOR(+/-) mice (consistent with lack of roll-off). These data suggest that: (1) S-nitrosylation events regulate hypoxic ventilatory response; (2) increases in S-nitrosylation of NMDAR 2B, nNOS, and GSNOR may contribute to ventilatory roll-off; and (3) GSNOR regulates PDGFR-β phosphorylation.


N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor; S-nitrosoglutathione reductase; hypoxic ventilatory response; neuronal nitric oxide synthase; platelet-derived growth factor receptor-β

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