Induction of Metamorphosis Decreases Nitric Oxide Synthase Gene Expression in Larvae of the Marine

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Mark D. Hens, Associate Professor (Creator)
Esther M. Leise, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Many marine organisms spend the early part of their lives as larvae suspended in the water column before metamorphosing into benthic reproductive adults. Metamorphosis does not occur until a larva has become competent to respond to appropriate stimuli and after a suitable habitat for the young juvenile has been encountered. The gaseous neurotransmitter nitric oxide is thought to be important in the regulation of metamorphosis by holding the organism in the larval state. We have investigated expression of the neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) gene in larval and metamorphosing individuals of the marine mud snail Ilyanassa obsoleta. Our results indicate that nNOS is expressed at constant levels throughout larval development In contrast, expression of nNOS decreases markedly during the first 24 h of metamorphosis. Our observations support previous findings that demonstrate that nitric oxide is present in larvae though competence. The decrease in nNOS gene expression that occurs during metamorphosis corresponds with a previously described reduction in nNOS activity.

Additional Information

Biological Bulletin 211(3):208-211.
Language: English
Date: 2006
CNS, central nervous system, cDNA, complementary DNA, 5-HT, serotonin, NO, mtnc oxide, NOS, nitric oxide synthase, nNOS, neuronal nitnc oxide synthase, RT-PCR, reverse transcnption based-polymerase chain reaction

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