Imaging of Nitric Oxide in Nitrergic Neuromuscular Neurotransmission in the Gut

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Imaging of Nitric Oxide in Nitrergic Neuromuscular Neurotransmission in the Gut

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Title: Imaging of Nitric Oxide in Nitrergic Neuromuscular Neurotransmission in the Gut
Author: Thatte, Hemant S.; He, Xue Dao; Goyal, Raj K.

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Citation: Thatte, Hemant S., Xue D. He, and Raj K. Goyal. 2009. Imaging of nitric oxide in nitrergic neuromuscular neurotransmission in the gut. PLoS ONE 4(4): e4990.
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Abstract: Background: Numerous functional studies have shown that nitrergic neurotransmission plays a central role in peristalsis and sphincter relaxation throughout the gut and impaired nitrergic neurotransmission has been implicated in clinical disorders of all parts of the gut. However, the role of nitric oxide (NO) as a neurotransmitter continues to be controversial because: 1) the cellular site of production during neurotransmission is not well established; 2) NO may interacts with other inhibitory neurotransmitter candidates, making it difficult to understand its precise role. Methodology/Principal Findings: Imaging NO can help resolve many of the controversies regarding the role of NO in nitrergic neurotransmission. Imaging of NO and its cellular site of production is now possible. NO forms quantifiable fluorescent compound with diaminofluorescein (DAF) and allows imaging of NO with good specificity and sensitivity in living cells. In this report we describe visualization and regulation of NO and calcium (\(Ca^{2+}\)) in the myenteric nerve varicosities during neurotransmission using multiphoton microscopy. Our results in mice gastric muscle strips provide visual proof that NO is produced de novo in the nitrergic nerve varicosities upon nonadrenergic noncholinergic (NANC) nerve stimulation. These studies show that NO is a neurotransmitter rather than a mediator. Changes in NO production in response to various pharmacological treatments correlated well with changes in slow inhibitory junction potential of smooth muscles. Conclusions/Significance: Dual imaging and electrophysiologic studies provide visual proof that during nitrergic neurotransmission NO is produced in the nerve terminals. Such studies may help define whether NO production or its signaling pathway is responsible for impaired nitrergic neurotransmission in pathological states.
Published Version: doi://10.1371/journal.pone.0004990
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