Are Temporal Differences in GDNF and NOS Isoform Induction Contributors to Neurodegeneration? A Fluorescence Microscopy-Based Study

Marie-Francoise Doursouta, Yangyan Lianga, Mya C. Schiessb, Angelica Padillac, Brian J. Poindexterc, Diane L. M. Hickson-Bickc, Roger J. Bickc, *
a Department of Anesthesiology, University of Texas McGovern Medical School, Houston,Texas, USA
b Department of Neurology, University of Texas McGovern Medical School, Houston,Texas, USA
c Department of Pathology, University of Texas McGovern Medical School, Houston,Texas, USA

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© Doursout et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Pathology, MSB 2.288, University of Texas McGovern Medical School, 6431 Fannin Street, Houston, TX 77030, USA; Tel: 713-500-5406; Fax: 713-500-0730; E-mail:



Specific factors in Parkinson’s disease have become targets as to their protective and degenerative effects. We have demonstrated that cytokines and PD-CSF detrimentally affect microglia and astrocyte growth. While glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) has been recognized as a possible neuron-rescue agent, nitric oxide synthase (NOS) has been implicated in neurodegenerative processes.


To demonstrate that glial cell activation, cytokine production, and NOS induction, play an intimate role in the loss of dopaminergic signaling, via mechanisms that are a result of inflammation and inflammatory stimuli.


Study animals were sacrificed following endotoxin treatment and tissue sections were harvested and probed for GDNF and NOS isomers by fluorescence deconvolution microscopy. Fluorescence was mapped and quantified for each probe


An immune cell influx into ‘vulnerable’ areas of the brain was seen, and three NOS isomers, inducible (iNOS), neuronal (nNOS) and endothelial (eNOS), were synthesized in the brains, a finding which suggests that each isomer has a role in neurodegeneration. eNOS was found associated with blood vessels, while iNOS was associated with glial and matrix cells and nNOS was located with both glia and neurons. Following endotoxin treatment, serum levels of nitric oxide were higher at 6-8 hours, while tissue levels of NOS were elevated for much longer. Thus, induction of NOS occurred earlier than the induction of GDNF.


Our findings suggest that the protective abilities of GDNF to combat neural destruction are not available rapidly enough, and do not remain at sufficiently high levels long enough to assert its protective effects. (250).

Keywords: Endotoxin, Fluorescence microscopy, Glial derived neurotrophic factor, Neurodegeneration, Nitric oxide.