In the previous communication we described a histochemical method for measuring soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) activity in sections of rat liver. In theory, this method could be used to assess nitric oxide synthase (NOS) activity by the increased sGC activity induced by the additional presence of the substrates for NOS activity. We found that this was correct provided that the concentration of the colloid stabilizer in the reaction medium was decreased to just below the concentration required to fully stabilize the guanylate cyclase activity in the sections. This was related to the fact that the site of NOS activity was different from that of the sGC activity in the hepatocytes, so that the NO generated had to diffuse from the Kupffer cells to the hepatocytes as could occur only in partially unstabilized sections. Optimal concentrations of arginine and of NADPH have been determined for demonstrating NOS activity; the increased reaction was shown to be largely inhibited by methyl-arginine.
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