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Immunocytochemical and histochemical localization of nitric oxide synthase in the turtle retina

  • Todd A. Blute (a1), Bernd Mayer (a2) and William D. Eldred

Abstract

Recent interest in nitric oxide and its relationship to cGMP has produced many attempts to anatomically localize the enzyme synthesizing nitric oxide, nitric oxide synthase. In the retina, numerous previous studies have used the NADPH-diaphorase enzyme activity of nitric oxide synthase as a histochemical method to localize nitric oxide synthase. However, all NADPH-diaphorase activity is not necessarily nitric oxide synthase, because several enzymes have similar biochemical activity. Additionally, various histochemical methods have been used to demonstrate NADPH-diaphorase activity, which makes comparisons between studies difficult. The purpose of this study was twofold. First, we wanted to examine the histochemical labeling of NADPH-diaphorase in the turtle retina to allow comparisons to previous studies. Second, we wanted to compare the histochemical localization of NADPH-diaphorase activity to the immunocytochemical localization of nitric oxide synthase in the turtle retina. Our histochemical localization of NADPH-diaphorase activity and our localization of nitric oxide synthase-like immunoreactivity in the turtle retina both produced similar results. Both the histochemistry and immunocytochemistry consistently labeled photoreceptor inner segments, at least three amacrine cell types, and processes in the inner plexiform layer. In optimized double-labeled preparations, all cells with NADPH-diaphorase activity were also positive for nitric oxide synthase-like immunoreactivity, although some somata in the ganglion cell layer only had nitric oxide synthase-like immunoreactivity. The immunocytochemical localization of nitric oxide synthase in photoreceptors, amacrine cells, and putative ganglion cells indicates that nitric oxide may function at several levels of visual processing in the turtle retina.

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Immunocytochemical and histochemical localization of nitric oxide synthase in the turtle retina

  • Todd A. Blute (a1), Bernd Mayer (a2) and William D. Eldred

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