The expression of three different neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) spliced variants, named nNOSalpha, nNOSbeta, and nNOSgamma, was investigated in the spinal cord of control and both familiar and sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (FALS and SALS) patients. Western blot analysis showed a consistent increase in nNOS expression in six SALS patients compared with controls when antibodies recognizing both nNOSalpha and nNOSbeta, or nNOSalpha, nNOSbeta, and nNOSgamma were used, whereas no change was observed when a selective anti-nNOSalpha antibody was used. Immunoreactivity signal for nNOSalpha-beta-gamma and nNOSalpha-beta was equally present in ventral horn neurons of control and ALS spinal cord but was dramatically increased in reactive astrocytes of the ventral horn and white matter in both FALS and SALS. nNOSalpha signal was equally expressed in motor neurons of normal and ALS spinal cord but was not evident in astrocytes. This finding indicates that nNOSbeta and nNOSgamma spliced variants are upregulated in reactive astrocytes in ALS. This may contribute to the peroxynitrite-mediated oxidative damage involved in the pathogenesis of both FALS and SALS.
|Journal||Journal of Neuroscience|
|Publication status||Published - 2001|