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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter August 3, 2020

Neurophysiologic implications of neuronal nitric oxide synthase

  • Masoumeh Kourosh-Arami EMAIL logo , Nasrin Hosseini , Monireh Mohsenzadegan , Alireza Komaki and Mohammad Taghi Joghataei


The molecular and chemical properties of neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) have made it a key mediator in many physiological functions and signaling transduction. The NOS monomer is inactive, but the dimer form is active. There are three forms of NOS, which are neuronal (nNOS), inducible (iNOS), and endothelial (eNOS) nitric oxide synthase. nNOS regulates nitric oxide (NO) synthesis which is the mechanism used mostly by neurons to produce NO. nNOS expression and activation is regulated by some important signaling proteins, such as cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) response element-binding protein (CREB), calmodulin (CaM), heat shock protein 90 (HSP90)/HSP70. nNOS-derived NO has been implicated in modulating many physiological functions, such as synaptic plasticity, learning, memory, neurogenesis, etc. In this review, we have summarized recent studies that have characterized structural features, subcellular localization, and factors that regulate nNOS function. Finally, we have discussed the role of nNOS in the developing brain under a wide range of physiological conditions, especially long-term potentiation and depression.

Corresponding author: Masoumeh Kourosh-Arami, Department of Neuroscience, School of Advanced Technologies in Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, E-mail:

Funding source: Cognitive Sciences and Technologies Council


The authors thank the Cognitive Sciences and Technologies Council for supporting this study.

  1. Author contribution: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.

  2. Research funding: None declared.

  3. Conflicts of interest statement: The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Received: 2019-11-27
Accepted: 2020-03-21
Published Online: 2020-08-03
Published in Print: 2020-08-27

© 2020 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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