Spatiotemporal Expression of PSD-95 and nNOS After Rat Sciatic Nerve Injury

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Abstract

Neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) has been implicated to influence peripheral nerve lesion and regeneration. Post-synaptic density-95 (PSD-95) is one of nNOS-anchoring proteins and plays an important role in specifying the sites of reaction of NO in nervous system. Here we established a rat sciatic nerve crush (SNC) model to examine the spatiotemporal expression of PSD-95 and nNOS. At gene levels, PSD-95 mRNA diminished shortly after crush, and significantly elevated from 2 days to 2 weeks, whereas nNOS decreased progressively post-operation, reached the valley at 1 day, and markedly up-regulated from 1 to 2 weeks after SNC. The expression of both molecules returned to the control level at 4 weeks post-injury. At protein levels, PSD-95 and nNOS underwent the similar changes as their gene expression except for a time lag during up-regulating. At their peak expression, PSD-95 co-labeled with nNOS in Schwann cells (SCs) of sciatic nerve within 0.5 mm from the lesion site, but had few colocalization in axons. In addition, the interaction between PSD-95 and nNOS enhanced significantly at 2 weeks after SNC. These results suggest a correlation of PSD-95 up-regulation with nNOS in reactive SCs of crushed sciatic nerve, which may lead to understanding the function of PSD-95 during peripheral nerve regeneration.

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