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

Localization of the two constitutively expressed nitric oxide synthase isoforms ( nNOS and eNOS) in the same cell types in the saccule maculae of the frog Rana pipiens by immunoelectron microscopy: evidence for a back-up system?

There is growing evidence for a nitric oxide/cyclic GMP pathway of signal transduction in the vestibular system. Recently, two isoforms of nitric oxide (NO) synthase ( nNOS and eNOS) and NO itself have been identified at the light microscopic level in the vestibulocochlear system of mice using specific antibodies and a new fluorescence indicator. In order to acquire more information about signal transduction and tissue modulation in this neuroepithelium at the cellular and subcellular levels, ultrathin sections of London Resin White-embedded saccule maculae of the frog Rana pipiens were incubated with various concentrations of commercially available antibodies to nNOS and eNOS. The immunoreactivity was visualized by a gold-labelled secondary antibody and the amount of the immunoreactions per microm2 was quantified for the different cell types and subcellular regions. Significant eNOS immunoreactivity was identified in the hair bundles, cuticular plates and the rest of the cytoplasm of the hair cells as well as in different subcellular regions of the supporting cells. Gold-labelled anti-nNOS antibodies stained mainly stereovilli and cuticular structures of hair cells and supporting cells, whereas the number of the immunoreactions in the remaining cytoplasm of both cell types was near the background level. The spatial co-localization of the two NOS isotypes in the same cell regions of hair cells and supporting cells was confirmed in double-labelling experiments. The immunocytochemical findings are suggestive of a redundant system in which one NOS isoform can (partially) replace the other. The different subcellular localization of the NOS isoforms may allow for isoform specific regulation of NOS activity by different Ca2+ currents at the subcellular level, underlining the importance of NO-regulated processes in neuroepithelia of the inner ear.[1]


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