L-citrulline immunoreactivity reveals nitric oxide production in the electromotor and electrosensory systems of the weakly electric fish, Apteronotus leptorhynchus.

TitleL-citrulline immunoreactivity reveals nitric oxide production in the electromotor and electrosensory systems of the weakly electric fish, Apteronotus leptorhynchus.
Publication TypeJournal Article
JournalBrain, behavior and evolution
Volume65
Issue1
Pagination1-13
Date Published2005
ISSN0006-8977
Abstract

Weakly electric fish produce electric organ discharges (EODs) used for electrolocation and communication. In the brown ghost knifefish, Apteronotus leptorhynchus, several neuron types in brain regions that control the EOD or process electrosensory information express nitric oxide synthase (NOS). The present study used immunoreactivity for L-citrulline, a byproduct of the production of nitric oxide (NO) by NOS, to assess NO production in NOS-expressing neurons. A polyclonal antibody against L-citrulline produced specific labeling in most neuronal populations previously identified to express NOS. Specifically, several cell types that precisely encode temporal information and/or fire at high frequencies, including spherical cells in the electrosensory lateral line lobe, giant cells in layer VI of the dorsal torus semicircularis, and pacemaker and relay cells in the pacemaker nucleus, were strongly immunoreactive for L-citrulline. This suggests that these neurons produced high levels of NO. Notably, electromotor neurons, which also strongly express NOS, were not immunoreactive for L-citrulline, suggesting that NOS did not produce high levels of NO in these neurons. No apparent differences in L-citrulline distribution or intensity were observed between socially isolated fish and fish exposed to playback stimuli simulating the presence of a conspecific. This suggests that social stimulation by electrocommunication signals is not necessary for high levels of NO production in many NOS-positive neurons. Future studies focusing on regulation of NO production in these systems, and the effects of NO on electrosensory processing and electromotor pattern generation will help elucidate the function of NO signaling pathways in this system.

URLhttps://www.karger.com?DOI=10.1159/000081106
DOI10.1159/000081106
Short TitleBrain Behav Evol
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