Nitric oxide is a free radical that has been recently recognized as a neural messenger molecule. Nitric oxide synthase has now been purified and molecularly cloned from brain. Using specific antibodies and oligonucleotide probes, we have localized brain nitric oxide synthase to discrete neuronal populations in the rat and primate brain. Nitric oxide synthase is exclusively neuronal, and its localization is absolutely coincident with NADPH diaphorase staining in both rat and primate.
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