Anat Cell Biol.  2011 Jun;44(2):106-115. 10.5115/acb.2011.44.2.106.

Immunohistochemical study on the expression of calcium binding proteins (calbindin-D28k, calretinin, and parvalbumin) in the cerebral cortex and in the hippocampal region of nNOS knock-out(-/-) mice

  • 1Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Neurosurgery, School of Medicine, Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, Korea.


Nitric oxide (NO) modulates the activities of various channels and receptors to participate in the regulation of neuronal intracellular Ca2+ levels. Ca2+ binding protein (CaBP) expression may also be altered by NO. Accordingly, we examined expression changes in calbindin-D28k, calretinin, and parvalbumin in the cerebral cortex and hippocampal region of neuronal NO synthase knockout(-/-) (nNOS-/-) mice using immunohistochemistry. For the first time, we demonstrate that the expression of CaBPs is specifically altered in the cerebral cortex and hippocampal region of nNOS-/- mice and that their expression changed according to neuronal type. As changes in CaBP expression can influence temporal and spatial intracellular Ca2+ levels, it appears that NO may be involved in various functions, such as modulating neuronal Ca2+ homeostasis, regulating synaptic transmission, and neuroprotection, by influencing the expression of CaBPs. Therefore, these results suggest another mechanism by which NO participates in the regulation of neuronal Ca2+ homeostasis. However, the exact mechanisms of this regulation and its functional significance require further investigation.


Calcium binding proteins; Cerebral cortex and hippocampal region; Immunohistochemistry; Neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS); nNOS knock-out(-/-) mice
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