Molecular profiling of reticular gigantocellularis neurons indicates that eNOS modulates environmentally dependent levels of arousal Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Calcium Channels, L-Type
  • Cocaine
  • Extinction, Psychological
  • Hippocampus
  • Memory
  • Receptors, Dopamine D1


  • Neurons of the medullary reticular nucleus gigantocellularis (NGC) and their targets have recently been a focus of research on mechanisms supporting generalized CNS arousal (GA) required for proper cognitive functions. Using the retro-TRAP method, we characterized transcripts enriched in NGC neurons which have projections to the thalamus. The unique expression and activation of the endothelial nitric oxide (eNOS) signaling pathway in these cells and their intimate connections with blood vessels indicate that these neurons exert direct neurovascular coupling. Production of nitric oxide (NO) within eNOS-positive NGC neurons increases after environmental perturbations, indicating a role for eNOS/NO in modulating environmentally appropriate levels of GA. Inhibition of NO production causes dysregulated behavioral arousal after exposure to environmental perturbation. Further, our findings suggest interpretations for associations between psychiatric disorders and mutations in the eNOS locus.

publication date

  • July 17, 2018



  • Academic Article



  • eng

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1073/pnas.1806123115

PubMed ID

  • 29967172

Additional Document Info

start page

  • E6900

end page

  • E6909


  • 115


  • 29