Nitric oxide modulates excitation-contraction coupling in the diaphragm.
We investigated the enzymatic source, cellular production, and functional importance of nitric oxide (NO) in rat diaphragm. Neuronal and endothelial isoforms of constituitive nitric oxide synthase (nc-NOS, ec-NOS) were identified by immunostaining. NOS activity measured in diaphragm homogenates averaged 5.1 pmol/min/mg. Passive diaphragm fiber bundles produced NO derivatives (NOx) at the rate of 0.9 pmol/min/mg as measured by the cytochrome c reduction assay; NO production was confirmed by photolysis/ chemiluminescence measurements. Endogenous NO depressed diaphragm contractile function. The force of submaximal contraction was increased by NOS inhibitors, an effect that was stable for up to 60 min and was reversed by NO donors. We conclude that diaphragm muscle fibers express nc-NOS, ec-NOS, or both; passive myocytes produce NOx; and NO or NO-derivatives inhibit force production by modulating excitation-contraction coupling.
Reid, MB; Kobzik, L; Bredt, DS; Stamler, JS
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