Nitric oxide synthase (NOS) is an enzyme that catalyzes the formation of nitric oxide (NO), an important biological messenger from L-arginine. There are considerable evidence showing the expression of NOS in mammalian tissues. Information on distribution of NOS activities in various organs and tissues of fish is rare. Non-functional NOS activities were documented in fish semi-quantitatively either by an indirect nicotine-adenine-dinucleotide-phosphate diaphorase (NADPH-d) activity histochemical staining method or by an immunohistochemical method using a cross-reacting antibody to brain NOS. Report on the functional levels of NOS activities in fish is lacking. This report represent the first attempt to document the functional NOS levels in various fish organs and tissues. Constitutive NOS (cNOS) activities in various organs of big-head carp (Aristichthys nobilis) was measured by a chemiluminescence method with a detection limit as low as 10 ρmol of NO produced. It was found that constitutive NOS activity was highest in the brain, followed by the intestine, stomach, retina, olfactory lobe, swim bladder, skeletal muscle, heart, kidney, ovary and liver. NOS activity could not be detected in the gill filaments. Omission of NADPH in the reaction mixture caused a 57-100% decrease in cNOS activities. However, omission of arginine in the mixture only caused a 56-87% drop in cNOS activities. When compared with cNOS activities documented from other species, a similar pattern of cNOS activities in the various organs and tissues of big-head carp could be seen.
- Big-head carp
- Functional nitric oxide synthase activities
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Aquatic Science