Nitric oxide stimulates human neural progenitor cell migration via cGMP-mediated signal transduction
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- Tegenge, M.A., Rockel, T.D., Fritsche, E. et al. Cell. Mol. Life Sci. (2011) 68: 2089. doi:10.1007/s00018-010-0554-9
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Neuronal migration is one of the most critical processes during early brain development. The gaseous messenger nitric oxide (NO) has been shown to modulate neuronal and glial migration in various experimental models. Here, we analyze a potential role for NO signaling in the migration of fetal human neural progenitor cells. Cells migrate out of cultured neurospheres and differentiate into both neuronal and glial cells. The neurosphere cultures express neuronal nitric oxide synthase and soluble guanylyl cyclase that produces cGMP upon activation with NO. By employing small bioactive enzyme activators and inhibitors in both gain and loss of function experiments, we show NO/cGMP signaling as a positive regulator of migration in neurosphere cultures of early developing human brain cells. Since NO signaling regulates cell movements from developing insects to mammalian nervous systems, this transduction pathway may have evolutionary conserved functions.