We studied the interactions between apoptosis regulator proteins (Bcl-2, p53 and caspase-9) and neuronal nitric oxide in vasopressinergic magnocellular centers of the hypothalamus using neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) gene knockout mice. nNOS gene deletion resulted in accumulation of Bcl-2, p53 and caspase-9 in the paraventricular (PVN) and supraoptic (SON) nuclei in controls. Dehydration increased the levels of all three apoptosis regulator proteins studied in nuclei of wild type mice. In the hypothalamus magnocellular centers of nNOS knockout mice, however, expression of Bcl-2, p53 and caspase-9 was unchanged after dehydration. The number of magnocellular neurons did not change in the SON and PVN of nNOS deficient mice compared to wild type, and after dehydration, cell death was not observed in either nucleus of wild type or knockout mice despite activation of apoptosis regulator protein expression. Thus, we demonstrated that gene disruption of nNOS prevents activation of Bcl-2, p53 and caspase-9 expression during water deprivation, and that nNOS deficiency did not affect survival of magnocellular neurons of the hypothalamus.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medical Laboratory Technology