Effects of nitric oxide on the survival and neuritogenesis of cerebellar Purkinje neurons

Ceri Ellen Oldreive, Steven Gaynor, Gayle Helane Doherty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Nitric oxide has been investigated widely both during neurodevelopment and in neurological diseases. However, whilst it has been established that nitric oxide producing enzymes of nitric oxide synthase family are expressed in cerebellar Purkinje neurons, the effects of nitric oxide on the viability and morphology of these neurons remain unknown. Here we have demonstrated that the activity of neuronal nitric oxide synthase, but not the inducible or endothelial forms of this enzyme, is required to support the survival of a proportion of cerebellar Purkinje neurons in vitro. We discovered that donation of high concentrations of exogenous nitric oxide reduces Purkinje neuron survival in culture, and that peroxynitrite is also toxic to these cells. Finally, we demonstrated that exogenous nitric oxide and peroxynitrite reduce both the magnitude and the complexity of the neurite arbor extended by cerebellar Purkinje neurons. Taken together, these findings reveal that whilst a low level of endogenous nitric oxide, released by the activity of neuronal nitric oxide synthase, is beneficial to cerebellar Purkinje neurons in vitro, high levels of exogenous nitric oxide and peroxynitrite are detrimental to both the survival of these neurons and to their ability to extend processes and thus form functional neural networks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)336-42
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Molecular Neuroscience
Volume46
Issue number2
Early online date5 Nov 2011
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012

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