Upregulation of neuronal nitric oxide synthase in in vitro stellate astrocytes and in vivo reactive astrocytes after electrically induced status epilepticus

Maria Vincenza Catania, Raffaella Giuffrida, Giovanna Seminara, Giuseppe Barbagallo, Eleonora Aronica, Jan A. Gorter, Paola Dell'Albani, Agrippino Ravagna, Vittorio Calabrese, Anna Maria Giuffrida-Stella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) is a constitutively expressed and calcium-dependent enzyme. Despite predominantly expressed in neurons, nNOS has been also found in astrocytes, although at lower expression levels. We have studied the regulation of nNOS expression in cultured rat astrocytes from cortex and spinal cord by Western blotting and immunocytochemistry. nNOS was not detectable in cultured astrocytes grown in serum-containing medium (SCM), but was highly expressed after serum deprivation. Accordingly, calcium-dependent NOS activity and both intracellular nitrite levels and nitrotyrosine immunoreactivity after glutamate stimulation were higher in serum-deprived astrocytes than in cells grown in SCM. Serum deprivation induced a modification of astrocytes morphology, from flat to stellate. nNOS upregulation was also observed in reactive astrocytes of rat hippocampi after electrically induced status epilepticus, as demonstrated by double-labeling experiments. Thus, nNOS upregulation occurs in both in vitro stellate and in vivo reactive astrocytes, suggesting a possible involvement of glial nNOS in neurological diseases characterized by reactive gliosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)607-615
Number of pages9
JournalNeurochemical Research
Volume28
Issue number3-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2003

Keywords

  • Astroglia stellation
  • Cortical and spinal cord astroglia
  • Gliosis
  • Nitric oxide
  • Peroxynitrite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry

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