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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Nitric oxide synthase in the external urethral sphincter of the sheep: immunohistochemical and functional study.

PURPOSE: We studied the distribution of neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) and the effects of nitric oxide (NO) modulating drugs on contractile function of the external urethral sphincter of lambs. Gender differences were evaluated. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Longitudinal and transverse sections of the external urethral sphincter from 10 female and 10 male lambs were studied using reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate-diaphorase histochemistry and nNOS immunocytochemistry. Isometric contractile responses to electrical field stimulation were recorded from external urethral sphincter preparations from 47 female and 45 male lambs and the effects of NO modulating drugs were evaluated. RESULTS: We detected nNOS in the sarcolemma of some but not all striated fibers, where nNOS seems to be concentrated at the neuromuscular junction. In addition, nNOS was present in nerve fibers and intramural ganglia. The density of innervation decreased toward the distal part of the external urethral sphincter and was higher in male preparations. No significant functional effects of the NOS inhibitor NG-nitro-L-arginine (10 mM.) or the NO donors diethylamine and spermine NONOate (Sigma Chemical Co., St. Louis, Missouri) (5 mM. each) on external urethral sphincter isometric contractility were found in either gender. CONCLUSIONS: Despite the evidence for nNOS at the sarcolemma and nerve fibers of the external urethral sphincter the physiological relevance of these immunohistochemical findings remains to be determined.[1]


  1. Nitric oxide synthase in the external urethral sphincter of the sheep: immunohistochemical and functional study. González-Soriano, J., Martín-Palacios, S., Rodríguez-Veiga, E., Triguero, D., Costa, G., Garcia-Pascual, A. J. Urol. (2003) [Pubmed]
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