Nitric oxide in the rat gastrointestinal tract
This study concerns the nature of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and the role of nitric oxide (NO) in the rat gastrointestinal tract. The major objectives were (i) to characterise NOS isoforms in the gastric glandular mucosa, (ii) to localise NOS isoforms in the rat gastric glandular mucosa, (iii) to investigate the role of NO in carbachol-stimulated gastric mucus secretion, (iv) to investigate the nature of NOS and small intestine. Immunoblotting was performed using polyclonal antisera raised against two peptides found in the rat brain NOS sequence and commercial monoclonal antibodies directed against neuronal and endothelial isoforms of NOS. A160kDa band was detected in brain and gastric mucosal samples with antibodies and antisera directed against neuronal NOS sequences, and a 140kDa band was detected in gastric mucosal samples using an anti-endothelial NOS antibody. An intense 160kDa neuronal NOS band was detected in a high-density fraction of gastric mucosal cells separated on a Percoll gradient. Detection of neuronal NOS by a carboxyl-terminal antiserum in samples of brain, but not of gastric mucosa, could be blocked by the peptide (20g/ml) against which the antibody was raised. After affinity purification, recognition of gastric mucosal NOS was blocked by peptide. Particulate neuronal NOS was found in the brain by immunoblotting while 94% of gastric mucosal enzyme was soluble. Gastric mucosal endothelial NOS was 95% particulate. 95% of NOS activity in the gastric mucosa was due to neuronal NOS.