The ubiquitous gaseous signaling molecule nitric oxide participates in the regulation of a variety of physiological and pathological processes, including adult neurogenesis. Adult neurogenesis, or the generation of new neurons in the adult brain, is a restricted event confined to areas with neurogenic capability. Although nitric oxide has been shown to mediate conflicting effects on adult neurogenesis, which may be partly explained by its unique characteristics, more studies are required in order to fully comprehend and appreciate the mechanisms involved. Neuropeptide Y, a neurotransmitter shown to be an important regulator of adult hippocampal neurogenesis, acts through intracellular nitric oxide to induce an increase in neural progenitor cell proliferation.
Keywords: Adult neurogenesis; MAPKs; Nitric oxide; Subgranular zone; Subventricular zone; cell signalling, cGMP; hippocampus; neural precursor cell.
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