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

Co-induction of growth-associated protein GAP-43 and neuronal nitric oxide synthase in the cochlear nucleus following cochleotomy.

In adult animals, cochlear lesioning leads to a reactive synaptogenesis with a reemergence of growth-associated protein, GAP-43, in the auditory brainstem nuclei. In addition, nitric oxide (NO) is also implicated in synaptogenesis. Three isoforms of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) responsible for generating NO have been identified and, in neurons, the predominant isoform is neuronal NOS (nNOS). Studies in visual or olfactory systems have found that the NOS expression often correlates with periods of axonal outgrowth and synapse formation; whether NO plays a similar role in the auditory brainstem needs to be examined. In the present study, a unilateral cochleotomy was performed in adult mice to examine the relationship between the reemergence of GAP-43 and the expression pattern of nNOS. Following surgery, GAP-43 re-emerged in the ipsilateral anterior ventral cochlear nucleus (AVCN) and the immunoreactivity reached a climax around postoperative day (POD) 8; the same expression pattern as that reported in the previous literature is the indicator of synaptogenesis. As for the nNOS immunoreactivity, a dramatic redistribution from a mostly cytoplasmal to a predominantly membranous localization in the ipsilateral AVCN was found especially at POD 4. A similar redistribution pattern in the ipsilateral AVCN for the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor was also observed at POD 4, corresponding to the fact that the activation of nNOS is coupled to calcium influx via the NMDA-receptor. Furthermore, the expression of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) is an indicator for activity of soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC), the substrate of NO, which reveals the target area of NO. Therefore, cGMP immunoreactivity was also examined and an obvious increase of cytoplasmal cGMP expression was observed around POD 4. Accordingly, it is suggested that nNOS activity correlates closely with the reactive synaptogenesis following a cochleotomy. Further evidence is shown by the results of fluorescent double staining; nNOS-positive cells were surrounded by GAP-43 labeled regions that appeared to be presynaptic boutons, and the vast majority of nNOS-positive cells also expressed cGMP. The former result indicates that, after surgery, there should be new terminal endings projecting onto the nNOS-positive cells in the AVCN. Furthermore, the latter result suggests a possible role of an autocrine mediator for nNOS in the AVCN.[1]


  1. Co-induction of growth-associated protein GAP-43 and neuronal nitric oxide synthase in the cochlear nucleus following cochleotomy. Chen, T.J., Huang, C.W., Wang, D.C., Chen, S.S. Experimental brain research. Experimentelle Hirnforschung. Expérimentation cérébrale. (2004) [Pubmed]
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