The effects of neuronal, endothelial, or inducible nitric oxide synthase gene disruption on the expression of oxytocin and vasopressin gene were examined in the hypothalamus (paraventricular, supraoptic, suprachiasmatic, and anterior commissural nuclei) and extrahypothalamus (bed nucleus of the stria terminalis). The oxytocin messenger RNA levels in the anterior commissural nucleus of neuronal nitric oxide synthase knockout mice were significantly higher than in control mice, but not in endothelial or inducible nitric oxide synthase knockout mice. In contrast, no significant effects of neuronal, endothelial, or inducible nitric oxide synthase gene disruption on oxytocin and vasopressin messenger RNA levels in the other hypothalamic and extrahypothalamic nuclei were observed. These results suggest that neuronal nitric-oxide- synthase-derived nitric oxide may be involved in the regulation of oxytocin gene expression in the anterior commissural nucleus.
- Arginine vasopressin
- In-situ hybridization histochemistry
- Knockout mice
- Nitric oxide synthase
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