Nitric Oxide and Synaptic Function

Nitric Oxide and Synaptic Function The free radical gas nitric oxide (NO) is a recently identified neuronal messenger that carries out diverse signaling tasks in both the central and peripheral nervous systems. Whereas most neurotransmitters are packaged in 2+ synaptic vesicles and secreted in a Ca -dependent manner from specialized nerve endings, NO is an unconventional transmitter which is not packaged in vesicles, but rather diffuses from its site of production in the absence of any specialized release machinery. The lack of a requirement for release apparatus raises the possibility that NO can be released from both pre- and postsynaptic neuronal elements. In addition, because NO is gaseous and extremely membrane permeant, it can bypass normal signal transduction routes involving interactions with synaptic membrane receptors. Although the targets of NO have not yet been completely described, it is known that NO can bind to the iron contained in heme groups, leading to conformational changes in associated proteins, such as guanylyl cyclase. NO as an Intercellular Signaling Molecule The idea that NO may participate in modulating neuronal function originally arose from the discovery that it is an important intercellular signal that maintains vascular tone and resistance. It had long been known that acetyl­ choline http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Annual Review of Neuroscience Annual Reviews

Nitric Oxide and Synaptic Function

Annual Review of Neuroscience, Volume 17 (1) – Mar 1, 1994

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Publisher
Annual Reviews
Copyright
Copyright 1994 Annual Reviews. All rights reserved
Subject
Review Articles
ISSN
0147-006X
eISSN
1545-4126
DOI
10.1146/annurev.ne.17.030194.001101
pmid
7516125
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The free radical gas nitric oxide (NO) is a recently identified neuronal messenger that carries out diverse signaling tasks in both the central and peripheral nervous systems. Whereas most neurotransmitters are packaged in 2+ synaptic vesicles and secreted in a Ca -dependent manner from specialized nerve endings, NO is an unconventional transmitter which is not packaged in vesicles, but rather diffuses from its site of production in the absence of any specialized release machinery. The lack of a requirement for release apparatus raises the possibility that NO can be released from both pre- and postsynaptic neuronal elements. In addition, because NO is gaseous and extremely membrane permeant, it can bypass normal signal transduction routes involving interactions with synaptic membrane receptors. Although the targets of NO have not yet been completely described, it is known that NO can bind to the iron contained in heme groups, leading to conformational changes in associated proteins, such as guanylyl cyclase. NO as an Intercellular Signaling Molecule The idea that NO may participate in modulating neuronal function originally arose from the discovery that it is an important intercellular signal that maintains vascular tone and resistance. It had long been known that acetyl­ choline

Journal

Annual Review of NeuroscienceAnnual Reviews

Published: Mar 1, 1994

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