Nitric Oxide as a Neurotoxin

Mark Mattson mpm at
Mon Oct 31 08:48:15 EST 1994

William_Boonn at wrote:
: I'm doing a research paper on the effects of nitric oxide as a neurotoxin
: in the brain and I would like to find out what the latest information is
: on this subject. I've read in certain places that HIV has an effect on NOS
: activity.  I would greatly appreciate any response.

: Thanks in advance,

: William W. Boonn '97
: Brown Univeristy
: Providence, RI

: email:  William_Boonn at

One of the most recent reviews written by the folks who first demonstrated
neurotoxicity of NO was a month or two back in the Journal of Neuroscience
(Vol. 14, pg. 5147).  They mention there that one of the HIV coat proteins
thought to kill neurons acts in an excitotoxic manner, thereby utilizing
NO for part of its toxicity.  In addition, the inducible form of NO synthase
is regulated by interferon and interleukins and may thus respond to infec-
tions in general and retroviruses in particular.  Interestingly, the HIV
LTR (promoter) has a cytokine-responsive element also. 

Steven W. Barger, Ph.D.
Sanders-Brown Center on Aging

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