Expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase and nitric oxide production in the mud-dwelled air-breathing singhi catfish, Heteropneustes fossilis under condition of water shortage. Academic Article uri icon


  • Nitric oxide (NO) is known to be an important regulator molecule for regulating the multiple signaling pathways and also to play diverse physiological functions in mammals including that of adaptation to various stresses. The present study reports on the production of nitric oxide (NO) and the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) enzyme that produces NO from l-arginine in the freshwater air-breathing catfish (Heteropneustes fossilis) while dwelling inside the mud peat under semidry conditions. Desiccation stress, due to mud-dwelling for 2 weeks, led to significant increase of NO concentration in different tissues and in plasma of singhi catfish, and also the increase of NO efflux from the perfused liver with an accompanying increase of toxic ammonia level in different tissues. Mud-dwelling also resulted to induction of iNOS activity, expression of iNOS protein in different tissues after 7 days with further increase after 14 days, which otherwise was not detectable in control fish. Further, mud-dwelling also resulted to a significant expression of iNOS mRNA after 7 days with a more increase of mRNA level after 14 days, suggesting that the desiccation stress caused transcriptional regulation of iNOS gene. Immunocytochemical analysis indicated the zonal specific expression of iNOS protein in different tissues. Desiccation stress also led to activation and nuclear translocation of nuclear factor B (NFB) in hepatic cells. These results suggest that the activation of iNOS gene under desiccation-induced stresses such as high ammonia load was probably mediated through the activation of one of the major transcription factors, the NFB. This is the first report of desiccation-induced induction of iNOS gene, iNOS protein expression leading to more generation of NO while living inside the mud peat under condition of water shortage in any air-breathing teleosts.

published proceedings

  • Nitric Oxide

author list (cited authors)

  • Choudhury, M. G., & Saha, N.

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Choudhury, Mahua G||Saha, Nirmalendu

publication date

  • December 2012