NMDA receptor activation induces nitric oxide synthesis from arginine in rat brain slices

Eur J Pharmacol. 1989 Oct 17;172(4-5):413-6. doi: 10.1016/0922-4106(89)90023-0.


Activation of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in rat cerebellum leads to the release of endothelium-derived relaxing factor, now identified as nitric oxide (NO), a stimulator of soluble guanylate cyclase. L-NG-monomethylarginine (L-NMMA), which blocks NO synthesis from L-arginine in several tissues, including a crude synaptosomal preparation from brain, inhibited the elevation of cyclic GMP induced by NMDA in rat cerebellar slices. D-NMMA was ineffective. L-Arginine, but not its D enantiomer, augmented the response to NMDA and reversed the inhibition by L-NMMA. The results indicate that stimulation of NMDA receptors results in the activation of the enzyme which catalyzes the formation of NO from L-arginine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arginine / metabolism*
  • Biotransformation
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Cerebellum / metabolism
  • Cyclic GMP / metabolism
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate
  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter / metabolism*


  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate
  • Receptors, Neurotransmitter
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Arginine
  • Cyclic GMP