The effects of nitric oxide on magnocellular neurons could involve multiple indirect cyclic GMP-dependent pathways

Authors

  • C. M. Vacher,

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, POB 616, European School of Neuroscience (EURON), Universiteit Maastricht, 6200 MD Maastricht, the Netherlands
    2. Laboratoire de Neurobiologie des Signaux Intercellulaires, CNRS UMR 7101, Université Paris VI, 7, quai Saint-Bernard, 75252 Paris Cedex 05, France
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  • H. Hardin-Pouzet,

    1. Laboratoire de Neurobiologie des Signaux Intercellulaires, CNRS UMR 7101, Université Paris VI, 7, quai Saint-Bernard, 75252 Paris Cedex 05, France
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  • H. W. M. Steinbusch,

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, POB 616, European School of Neuroscience (EURON), Universiteit Maastricht, 6200 MD Maastricht, the Netherlands
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  • A. Calas,

    1. Laboratoire de Neurobiologie des Signaux Intercellulaires, CNRS UMR 7101, Université Paris VI, 7, quai Saint-Bernard, 75252 Paris Cedex 05, France
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  • J. De Vente

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, POB 616, European School of Neuroscience (EURON), Universiteit Maastricht, 6200 MD Maastricht, the Netherlands
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: Dr Claire-Marie Vacher, 2Laboratoire de Neurobiologie des Signaux Intercellulaires, as above.
E-mail: Claire-Marie.Vacher@snv.jussieu.fr

Abstract

Nitric oxide (NO) is known to regulate the release of arginine-vasopressin (AVP) and oxytocin (OT) by the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) and the supraoptic nucleus (SON). The aim of the current study was to identify in these nuclei the NO-producing neurons and the NO-receptive cells in mice. The determination of NO-synthesizing neurons was performed by double immunohistochemistry for the neuronal form of NO synthase (NOS), and AVP or OT. Besides, we visualized the NO-receptive cells by detecting cyclic GMP (cGMP), the major second messenger for NO, by immunohistochemistry on hypothalamus slices. Neuronal NOS was exclusively colocalized with OT in the PVN and the SON, suggesting that NO is mainly synthesized by oxytocinergic neurons in mice. By contrast, cGMP was not observed in magnocellular neurons, but in GABA-, tyrosine hydroxylase- and glutamate-positive fibers, as well as in GFAP-stained cells. The cGMP-immunostaining was abolished by incubating brain slices with a NOS inhibitor (L-NAME). Consequently, we provide the first evidence that NO could regulate the release of AVP and OT indirectly by modulating the activity of the main afferents to magnocellular neurons rather than by acting directly on magnocellular neurons. Moreover, both the NADPH-diaphorase activity and the mean intensity of cGMP-immunofluorescence were increased in monoamine oxidase A knock-out mice (Tg8) compared to control mice (C3H) in both nuclei. This suggests that monoamines could enhance the production of NO, contributing by this way to the fine regulation of AVP and OT release and synthesis.

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