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Effects of nitric oxide on neuromuscular properties of developing zebrafish embryos

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journal contribution
posted on 20.03.2014, 15:33 by Michael Jay, Sophie Bradley, Jonathan Robert McDearmid
Nitric oxide is a bioactive signalling molecule that is known to affect a wide range of neurodevelopmental processes. However, its functional relevance to neuromuscular development is not fully understood. Here we have examined developmental roles of nitric oxide during formation and maturation of neuromuscular contacts in zebrafish. Using histochemical approaches we show that elevating nitric oxide levels reduces the number of neuromuscular synapses within the axial swimming muscles whilst inhibition of nitric oxide biosynthesis has the opposite effect. We further show that nitric oxide signalling does not change synapse density, suggesting that the observed effects are a consequence of previously reported changes in motor axon branch formation. Moreover, we have used in vivo patch clamp electrophysiology to examine the effects of nitric oxide on physiological maturation of zebrafish neuromuscular junctions. We show that developmental exposure to nitric oxide affects the kinetics of spontaneous miniature end plate currents and impacts the neuromuscular drive for locomotion. Taken together, our findings implicate nitrergic signalling in the regulation of zebrafish neuromuscular development and locomotor maturation.

Funding

This work was funded by a BBSRC studentship to MJ, a BBSRC studentship to SB, and in part by BBSRC grants BBE015352 and BBF01516X to JM.

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Citation

PLoS ONE, 2014, 9 (1), e86930

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF MEDICINE, BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES AND PSYCHOLOGY/School of Biological Sciences/Department of Biology

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VoR (Version of Record)

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PLoS ONE

Publisher

Public Library of Science

issn

1932-6203

Copyright date

2014

Available date

20/03/2014

Publisher version

http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0086930

Language

en

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