Nitric oxide (NO) is a signaling molecule that can trigger adaptive (physiological) or maladaptive (pathological) responses to stress stimuli in a context-dependent manner. We have previously reported that NO may signal axonal injury to neighboring glial cells. In this study, we show that mice deficient in neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS-/-) are more vulnerable than WT mice to toxin-induced peripheral neuropathy. The administration of NO donors to primary dorsal root ganglion cultures prevents axonal degeneration induced by acrylamide in a dose-dependent manner. We demonstrate that NO-induced axonal protection is dependent on hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1-mediated transcription of erythropoietin (EPO) within glial (Schwann) cells present in the cultures. Transduction of Schwann cells with adenovirus AdCA5 encoding a constitutively active form of HIF-1α results in amelioration of acrylamide-induced axonal degeneration in an EPO-dependent manner. Mice that are partially deficient in HIF-1α (HIF-1α+/-) are also more susceptible than WT littermates to toxic neuropathy. Our results indicate that NO→HIF-1→EPO signaling represents an adaptive mechanism that protects against axonal degeneration.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Mar 22 2011|
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