Author(s): Taqatqeh F, Mergia E, Neitz A, Eysel UT, Koesling D,
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Abstract Although nitric oxide (NO) has been implicated as a messenger molecule in hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) for almost 20 years, its precise function has not been elucidated because presynaptic and/or postsynaptic actions of NO have been reported. Most of the effects of NO as a signaling molecule are mediated by the NO receptor guanylyl cyclases (NO-GCs), two heme-containing enzymes with pronounced homology in which cGMP-forming activity is stimulated on NO binding. Here we report on knock-out (KO) mice in which either one of the NO-GC receptors has been genetically deleted. By measuring NO-induced cGMP levels, similar quantities of both NO-GC receptors were determined in the hippocampus. Surprisingly, hippocampal LTP was abolished in either one of the KO strains, demonstrating that both NO-GC receptors are required in the course of LTP. Expression of LTP was restored with a cGMP analog in one of the KO strains but did not recover in the other one. Moreover, single-cell recordings of paired pulse facilitation revealed a presynaptic role of one of the NO-GC isoforms in neurotransmitter release, confirming different roles of the NO-GC receptors in LTP. Because neither one of the NO/cGMP-induced responses by itself is sufficient for LTP, two divergent, possibly presynaptically and postsynaptically localized NO-stimulated cGMP pathways are apparently required for the expression of LTP. The unexpected role of cGMP at two sites of the synaptic cleft explains many of the controversial results in former NO research in LTP and demonstrates the necessity of presynaptic and postsynaptic changes for LTP expression.
This article was published in J Neurosci
and referenced in Journal of Anesthesia & Clinical Research