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Neurosci Lett. 1997 Apr 25;226(2):99-102.

Distribution of neuronal nitric oxide synthase in the rat liver.

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Department of Experimental Biology, School of Sciences, University of Jaen, Spain.


We studied the distribution of neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) in the rat liver with a specific polyclonal antibody by using immunocytochemical procedures in the light microscopic level. Immunoreactive varicose nerve fibers were found forming a dense plexus around the interlobular hepatic artery and the interlobular bile duct in the hepatic hilus, and in the hepatic artery ramifications of the portal triads. The density of nNOS positive nerve fibers decreases with successive portal ramifications, and some non-immune positive nerve fibers were found in the distal portions of the arterial vessels. The presence of the nNOS positive nerve fibers suggests that the possible main functional role could be related with the regulation of hepatic blood circulation and hepatobiliary activities.

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