We have isolated and characterized the cDNAs for nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) from the terrestrial slug Limax marginatus, and examined the presence and distribution of their mRNAs in the central nervous system using histological techniques and a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction method. Our results showed that both bursting and nonbursting neurons in the procerebral lobes contain the mRNAs for both NOS and sGC. We further found that the oscillation frequency of electrical activity in the procerebral lobes increases with increasing intracellular concentrations of cyclic GMP (cGMP). Taken together with previous data on the NO-induced cGMP-like immunoreactivity and on the anatomical distribution of neuntes and the localization of synapses of bursting and nonborstieg neurons, our present results suggest that NO-induced changes in cGMP concentration modulate the oscillation frequency in the procerebral lobes by acting on the olfactory input pathways, but possibly not on the output pathways, in slugs.
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