Antenatal insults modify newborn olfactory function by nitric oxide produced from neuronal nitric oxide synthase

Alexander Drobyshevsky*, Lei Yu, Yirong Yang, Syed Khalid, Kehuan Luo, Rugang Jiang, Haitao Ji, Matthew Derrick, Leslie Kay, Richard B Silverman, Sidhartha Tan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Newborn feeding, maternal, bonding, growth and wellbeing depend upon intact odor recognition in the early postnatal period. Antenatal stress may affect postnatal odor recognition. We investigated the exact role of a neurotransmitter, nitric oxide (NO), in newborn olfactory function. We hypothesized that olfactory neuron activity depended on NO generated by neuronal NO synthase (NOS). Utilizing in vivo functional manganese enhanced MRI (MEMRI) in a rabbit model of cerebral palsy we had shown previously that in utero hypoxia-ischemia (H-I) at E22 (70% gestation) resulted in impaired postnatal response to odorants and poor feeding. With the same antenatal insult, we manipulated NO levels in the olfactory neuron in postnatal day 1 (P1) kits by administration of intranasal NO donors or a highly selective nNOS inhibitor. Olfactory function was quantitatively measured by the response to amyl acetate stimulation by MEMRI. The relevance of nNOS to normal olfactory development was confirmed by the increase of nNOS gene expression from fetal ages to P1 in olfactory epithelium and bulbs. In control kits, nNOS inhibition decreased NO production in the olfactory system and increased MEMRI slope enhancement. In H-I kits the MEMRI slope did not increase, implicating modification of endogenous NO-mediated olfactory function by the antenatal insult. NO donors as a source of exogenous NO did not significantly change function in either group. In conclusion, olfactory epithelium nNOS in newborn rabbits probably modulates olfactory signal transduction. Antenatal H-I injury remote from delivery may affect early functional development of the olfactory system by decreasing NO-dependent signal transduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)427-434
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental Neurology
Volume237
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2012

Keywords

  • MEMRI
  • NNOS
  • Nitric oxide
  • Olfactory development
  • Olfactory injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience

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