Nitric oxide regulation of the central aortae of the toad Bufo marinus occurs independently of the endothelium

Brad R.S. Broughton, John A. Donald

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Nitric oxide (NO) signalling pathways were examined in the lateral aortae and dorsal aorta of the cane toad Bufo marinus. NADPH diaphorase histochemistry and nitric oxide synthase (NOS) immunohistochemistry found no evidence for endothelial NOS in the endothelium of toad aortae, but it could be readily demonstrated in rat aorta that was used as a control. Immunohistochemistry using a specific neural NOS antibody showed the presence of neural NOS immunoreactivity in the perivascular nerves of the aortae. The anatomical data was supported by in vitro organ bath physiology, which demonstrated that the vasodilation mediated by applied acetylcholine (10-5moll-1) was not dependent on the presence of the vascular endothelium; however, it was significantly reduced in the presence of a neural NOS inhibitor, vinyl-L-NIO (10-4moll-1). In addition, atropine (10-6moll-1) (a muscarinic receptor inhibitor), L-NNA (10-4moll-1) (a NOS inhibitor) and ODQ (10-5moll-1) (an inhibitor of soluble guanylyl cyclase) abolished the vasodilatory effect of applied acetylcholine. In conclusion, we propose that an endothelial NO system is absent in toad aortae and that NO generated by neural NOS in perivascular nerves mediates vasodilation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3093-3100
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Aorta
  • Bufo marinus
  • Cane toad
  • Endothelial nitric oxide synthase
  • Neural nitric oxide synthase
  • Nitric oxide
  • Soluble guanylyl cyclase
  • Vasodilation

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