Anatomy & cell biology

Immunohistochemical study on the expression of calcium binding proteins (calbindin-D28k, calretinin, and parvalbumin) in the cerebral cortex and in the hippocampal region of nNOS knock-out(-/-) mice.

PMID 21829754


Nitric oxide (NO) modulates the activities of various channels and receptors to participate in the regulation of neuronal intracellular Ca(2+) levels. Ca(2+) binding protein (CaBP) expression may also be altered by NO. Accordingly, we examined expression changes in calbindin-D28k, calretinin, and parvalbumin in the cerebral cortex and hippocampal region of neuronal NO synthase knockout(-/-) (nNOS(-/-)) mice using immunohistochemistry. For the first time, we demonstrate that the expression of CaBPs is specifically altered in the cerebral cortex and hippocampal region of nNOS(-/-) mice and that their expression changed according to neuronal type. As changes in CaBP expression can influence temporal and spatial intracellular Ca(2+) levels, it appears that NO may be involved in various functions, such as modulating neuronal Ca(2+) homeostasis, regulating synaptic transmission, and neuroprotection, by influencing the expression of CaBPs. Therefore, these results suggest another mechanism by which NO participates in the regulation of neuronal Ca(2+) homeostasis. However, the exact mechanisms of this regulation and its functional significance require further investigation.