Neurochemical Research

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 299–304 | Cite as

Inhibition of nitric oxide synthase activity in cerebral cortical synaptosomes by nitric oxide donors: Evidence for feedback autoregulation

  • Thomas W. Vickroy
  • Wendi L. Malphurs
Original Articles


Despite evidence which supports a neurotransmitter-like role for nitric oxide (NO) in the CNS, relatively little is known regarding mechanisms which control NO formation within CNS neurons. In this study, isolated nerve endings (synaptosomes) from rat cerebral cortex were used to ascertain whether NO can autoregulate its own formation within neurons through feedback inhibition of the NO biosynthetic enzyme nitric oxide synthase (NOS). Under the conditions described here, Nω-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester-sensitive conversion ofl-[3H]arginine intol-[3H]citrulline (i.e., NOS activity) was found to be highly calcium-dependent and strongly inhibited (up to 60 percent) by NO donors, including sodium nitroprusside, hydroxylamine and nitroglycerin. The inhibitory effect of sodium nitroprusside was concentration-dependent (IC50≈100 μM) and prevented by the NO scavenger oxyhemoglobin.l-Citrulline, the other major end-product from NOS, had no apparent effect on synaptosomal NOS activity. Taken together, these results indicate that neuronal NOS can be inhibited by NO released from exogenous donors and, therefore, may be subject to end-product feedback inhibition by NO that is formed locally within neurons or released from proximal cells.

Key Words

Gerebral cortex feedback inhibition nitric oxide nitric oxide synthase nitroglycerin sodium nitroprusside synaptosomes 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas W. Vickroy
    • 1
  • Wendi L. Malphurs
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiological SciencesUniversity of FloridaGainesville

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