Neural tube closure depends on nitric oxide synthase activity

Amir Nachmany, Veronica Gold, Asaf Tsur, Dan Arad, Miguel Weil*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Neural tube (NT) closure is a multifactorial process that involves yet unresolved molecular mechanisms. It had been shown previously that high levels of nitric oxide (NO) block the process of NT closure in the chick embryo by inhibiting methionine synthase (MS). The MS inhibition and its effect on NT closure could be alleviated by folic acid, suggesting the involvement of the folate-methionine pathway in the process. Here we test the hypothesis that endogenous nitric oxide synthase (NOS) activity regulates the MS activity required in the process of NT closure. The experiments described here reveal that NOS activity per se, is indeed critical for NT closure in the chick embryo. Inhibition of NOS activity with either 2,4-diamino-6-hydroxypyrimidine (DAHP), which blocks biosynthesis of the NOS co-factor tetrahydrobiopterin (BH 4), or with calmidazolium, which blocks calcium-calmodulin binding to NOS, resulted in reduced MS activity and consequently ablated NT closure. Addition of BH4 or the calcium ionophore A23187 restored NOS and MS activities, resulting in NT closure. The results described here imply that NOS and MS activities can serve as functional markers in this developmental process as they are essential in the process of NT closure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-253
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006


  • Chick embryo
  • Folate pathway
  • Methionine synthase
  • Nitric oxide synthase
  • nNeural tube


Dive into the research topics of 'Neural tube closure depends on nitric oxide synthase activity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this