Development of genetically engineered mice lacking all three nitric oxide synthases

Masato Tsutsui, Hiroaki Shimokawa, Tsuyoshi Morishita, Yasuhide Nakashima, Nobuyuki Yanagihara

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)


Nitric oxide (NO) is produced in almost all tissues and organs, exerting multiple biological actions under both physiological and pathological conditions. NO is synthesized by three different isoforms of NO synthase (NOS): neuronal, inducible, and endothelial NOSs. Due to the substantial compensatory interactions among the NOS isoforms, the ultimate roles of endogenous NO in our body still remain to be fully elucidated. To address this point, we have successfully developed mice in which all three NOS genes are completely disrupted. NOS expression and activities were totally absent in the triply n/i/eNOS-/- mice before and after treatment with lipopolysaccharide. While the triply n/i/eNOS-/- mice were viable, their survival and fertility rates were markedly reduced as compared with wild-type mice. The phenotypes of those mice that we first noticed were polyuria, polydipsia, and renal unresponsiveness to vasopressin, characteristics consistent with nephrogenic diabetes insipidus. We subsequently observed that in those mice, arteriosclerosis is spontaneously developed with a clustering of cardiovascular risk factors. These results provide the first evidence that the systemic deletion of all three NOSs causes a variety of cardiovascular diseases in mice, demonstrating a critical role of the endogenous NOSs system in maintaining cardiovascular homeostasis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-154
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pharmacological Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Knockout mouse
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus
  • Nitric oxide synthase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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