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The effects of L-NAME on neuronal NOS and SOD1 expression in the DRG–spinal cord network of axotomised Thy 1.2 eGFP mice

  • Matthew J. G. Bradman (a1), Richard Morris (a1), Anne McArdle (a1), Malcolm J. Jackson (a1) and Thimmasettappa Thippeswamy (a1)...


Nitric oxide (NO) plays an important role in pathophysiology of the nervous system. Copper/zinc superoxide dismutase (SOD1) reacts with superoxide, which is also a substrate for NO, to provide antioxidative protection. NO production is greatly altered following nerve injury, therefore we hypothesised that SOD1 and NO may be involved in modulating axotomy responses in dorsal root ganglion (DRG)–spinal network. To investigate this interaction, adult Thy1.2 enhanced membrane-bound green fluorescent protein (eGFP) mice underwent sciatic nerve axotomy and received NG-nitro- <l-arginine methylester (L-NAME) or vehicle 7–9 days later. L4–L6 spinal cord and DRG were harvested for immunohistochemical analyses. Effect of injury was confirmed by axotomy markers; small proline-rich repeat protein 1A (SPRR1A) was restricted to ipsilateral neuropathology, while Thy1.2 eGFP revealed also contralateral crossover effects. L-NAME, but not axotomy, increased neuronal NO synthase (nNOS) and SOD1 immunoreactive neurons, with no colocalisation, in a lamina-dependent manner in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord. Axotomy and/or L-NAME had no effect on total nNOS+ and SOD1+ neurons in DRG. However, L-NAME altered SOD1 expression in subsets of axotomised DRG neurons. These findings provide evidence for differential distribution of SOD1 and its modulation by NO, which may interact to regulate axotomy-induced changes in DRG–spinal network.


Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: Thimmasettappa Thippeswamy, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, University of Liverpool, Room no. 4.306, 4th Floor, UCD Duncan Building Daulby Street, Liverpool L69 3GA, UK phone: 00 44 151 706 4048 email:


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