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NO/cGMP-Dependent Modulation of Synaptic Transmission

  • Chapter
Pharmacology of Neurotransmitter Release

Part of the book series: Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology ((HEP,volume 184))

Nitric oxide (NO) is a multifunctional messenger in the CNS that can signal both in antero- and retrograde directions across synapses. Many effects of NO are mediated through its canonical receptor, the soluble guanylyl cyclase, and the second messenger cyclic guanosine-3′,5′-monophosphate (cGMP). An increase of cGMP can also arise independently of NO via activation of membrane-bound particulate guanylyl cyclases by natriuretic peptides. The classical targets of cGMP are cGMP-dependent protein kinases (cGKs), cyclic nucleotide hydrolysing phosphodiesterases, and cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) cation channels. The NO/cGMP/cGK signalling cascade has been linked to the modulation of transmitter release and synaptic plasticity by numerous pharmacological and genetic studies. This review focuses on the role of NO as a retrograde messenger in long-term potentiation of transmitter release in the hippocampus. Presynaptic mechanisms of NO/cGMP/cGK signalling will be discussed with recently identified potential downstream components such as CaMKII, the vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein, and regulators of G protein signalling. NO has further been suggested to increase transmitter release through presynaptic clustering of a-synuclein. Alternative modes of NO/cGMP signalling resulting in inhibition of transmitter release and long-term depression of synaptic activity will also be addressed, as well as anterograde NO signalling in the cerebellum. Finally, emerging evidence for cGMP signalling through CNG channels and hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channels will be discussed.

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Feil, R., Kleppisch, T. (2008). NO/cGMP-Dependent Modulation of Synaptic Transmission. In: Südhof, T.C., Starke, K. (eds) Pharmacology of Neurotransmitter Release. Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology, vol 184. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-74805-2_16

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