Open Access

Down-regulation of neuronal form of Nitric oxide synthase in the Nurse cell of Trichinella spiralis


The free radical nitric oxide (NO) and Ca2+ are critical regulators of skeletal muscle exercise performance and fatigue. The major source of NO in skeletal muscle cells is the neuronal form of the enzyme Nitric oxide synthase (nNOS). One of the most peculiar characteristics of the Nurse cell of Trichinella spiralis (T. spiralis) is the complete loss of the contractile capabilities of its derivative striated muscle fiber. The aim of the present study was to clarify the expression of nNOS protein and mRNA in striated muscles during the muscle phase of T. spiralis infection in mice. Muscle tissue samples were collected from mice at days 0, 14, 24, and 35 post infection (d.p.i.). The expression of nNOS was investigated by immunohistochemistry, and the expression levels of mRNA of mouse Nitric oxide synthase 1 (Nos1) by real-time PCR. The presence of nNOS protein was still well observable in the disintegrated sarcoplasm at the early stage of infection. The cytoplasm of the developing and mature Nurse cell showed the absence of this protein. At least at the beginning of the Nurse cell development, Trichinella uses the same repairing process of skeletal muscle cell, induced after any trauma and this corroborates very well our results concerning the nNOS expression on day 14 p.i. At a later stage, however, we could suggest that the down-regulation of nNOS in the Nurse cell of T. spiralis either serves a protective function or is an outcome of the genetic identity of the Nurse cell.

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4 times per year
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Life Sciences, Zoology, Ecology, other, Medicine, Clinical Medicine, Microbiology, Virology and Infection Epidemiology