Vol 62, No 1 (2024)
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Published online: 2024-03-28

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Immunocytochemical localization of nitric oxide synthase-containing neurons in the visual cortex of the Mongolian gerbil

Xin-Yu Kuai1, Gwang-Jin Jeong1, Chang-Jin Jeon1
Pubmed: 38563048
Folia Histochem Cytobiol 2024;62(1):37-49.


Introduction. Nitric oxide (NO) is present in various cell types in the central nervous system and plays a crucial role in the control of various cellular functions. The diurnal Mongolian gerbil is a member of the rodent family Muridae that exhibits unique physiological, anatomical, and behavioral differences from the nocturnal rat and mouse, which render it a useful model for studying the visual system. The purpose of this study was to confirm the distribution and morphology of neurons that contain nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and their pattern of co-expressing NOS with neuropeptide Y (NPY), somatostatin (SST), and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the visual cortex of Mongolian gerbils.

Materials and methods. Mongolian gerbils were used in the study. We confirmed the localization of NOS in the visual cortex of Mongolian gerbils using horseradish peroxidase immunocytochemistry, fluorescent immunocytochemistry, and conventional confocal microscopy.

Results. NOS-immunoreactive (IR) neurons were present in all layers of the visual cortex of the Mongolian gerbil, with the exception of layer I, with the highest density observed in layer V (50.00%). The predominant type of NOS-IR neurons was multipolar round/oval cells (60.96%). Two-color immunofluorescence revealed that 100% NOS-IR neurons were co-labeled with NPY and SST and 34.55% were co-labeled with GABA.

Conclusions. Our findings of the laminar distribution and morphological characteristics of NOS-IR neurons, as well as the colocalization patterns of NOS-IR neurons with NPY, SST, and GABA, indicated the presence of species-specific differences, suggesting the functional diversity of NO in the visual cortex. This study provides valuable data on the anatomical organization of NOS-IR neurons and, consequently, a better understanding of the functional aspects of NO and species diversity.

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