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

Capillary electrophoresis analysis of nitric oxide synthase related metabolites in single identified neurons.

Intracellular concentrations of L-citrulline (Cit) and its metabolites are related to nitric oxide synthase (NOS) activity, an enzyme producing the intercellular messenger NO in animal tissues including the nervous system. A capillary electrophoresis system using laser-induced fluorescence detection is described, and methods are developed to monitor the levels of L-arginine (Arg), Cit, and related molecules in identified neurons of the marine slugs, Pleurobranchaea californica and Aplysia californica. The limits of detection for Arg, Cit, L-arginino-succinate, L-ornithine, and L-arginine phosphate range from 50 amol to 17 fmol (5 nM to 17 microM in the neurons under study); these detection limits are significantly lower than actual intracellular levels of the metabolites, allowing the direct assay of single cells. The levels of NOS metabolites in individual neurons varied form 6 (Arg) and 4 mM (Cit) in putative NOS-containing neurons down to < 1 microM (undetectable) levels in many putative NOS-negative cells. The Arg/Cit ratio is independent of cell volume, correlates with NADPH-diaphorase staining, and appears to be a characteristic parameter for the presence of NOS activity in identified neurons.[1]


  1. Capillary electrophoresis analysis of nitric oxide synthase related metabolites in single identified neurons. Floyd, P.D., Moroz, L.L., Gillette, R., Sweedler, J.V. Anal. Chem. (1998) [Pubmed]
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