A novel neuronal messenger molecule in brain

The free radical, nitric oxide

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Understanding of the organization and function of a newly identified neuronal messenger molecule, nitric oxide, has progressed rapidly. Nitric oxide synthase has been purified and molecularly cloned from brain. Its localization is exclusively neuronal and endothelial. The catalytic activity of nitric oxide synthase accounts for the NADPH diaphorase staining of neurons that are uniquely resistant to toxic insults and neurodegenerative disorders. Nitric oxide has diverse functions. In platelets it inhibits their aggregation, in macrophages it mediates cytotoxicity, and in blood vessels it acts as a vasodilator. In the nervous system nitric oxide may be the retrograde transmitter in long-term potentiation. It is the "neurotransmitter" of cerebral vasodilator nerves and the inhibitory "neurotransmitter" of the motor neurons of the intestines. Nitric oxide in situations of excessive production may function as a neurotoxin, suggesting a role for nitric oxide in neurodegenerative disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-311
Number of pages15
JournalAnnals of Neurology
Volume32
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1992

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Free Radicals
Nitric Oxide
Brain
Vasodilator Agents
Nitric Oxide Synthase
Neurodegenerative Diseases
Neurotransmitter Agents
NADPH Dehydrogenase
Long-Term Potentiation
Poisons
Neurotoxins
Motor Neurons
Nervous System
Intestines
Blood Vessels
Blood Platelets
Macrophages
Staining and Labeling
Neurons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

A novel neuronal messenger molecule in brain : The free radical, nitric oxide. / Dawson, Ted M; Dawson, Valina; Snyder, Solomon H.

In: Annals of Neurology, Vol. 32, No. 3, 09.1992, p. 297-311.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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