Plasma S-nitrosothiol status in neonatal calves: ontogenetic associations with tissue-specific S-nitrosylation and nitric oxide synthase

Christen, Stephan; Cattin, Isabelle; Knight, Iona; Winyard, Paul G; Blum, Jürg W; Elsasser, Theodore H (2007). Plasma S-nitrosothiol status in neonatal calves: ontogenetic associations with tissue-specific S-nitrosylation and nitric oxide synthase. Experimental biology and medicine, 232(2), pp. 309-22. Maywood, N.J.: Society for Experimental Biology & Medicine

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Neonatal cattle and in part neonates of other species have manyfold higher plasma concentrations of nitrite plus nitrate than mature cows and subjects of other species, suggesting an enhanced and needed activation of the nitric oxide (NO) axis at birth. While the biological half-life of NO is short (<1 sec), its functionality can be prolonged, and in many regards more discretely modulated, when it reacts with low-molecular-weight and protein-bound thiols to form S-nitrosothiols (RSNO), from which NO subsequently can be rereleased. We used the calf as a model to test the hypothesis that plasma concentrations of RSNO are elevated at birth in mammals, correlate with ascorbate and urate levels, are selectively generated in critical tissue beds, and are generated in a manner temporally coincident with changes in tissue levels of active NO synthases (NOS). Plasma concentrations of RSNO, ascorbate, and urate were highest immediately after birth (Day 0), dropped >50% on Day 1, and gradually decreased over time, reaching a nadir in mature cattle. Albumin and immunoglobulin G were identified as major plasma RSNO. The presence of S-nitrosocysteine (SNC, a validated marker for S-nitrosylated proteins), inducible NOS (iNOS), and activated endothelial NOS (eNOS phosphorylated at Ser1177) in different tissues was analyzed by immunohistochemistry in another group of similar-aged calves. SNC, iNOS, and phosphorylated eNOS were detected in liver and ileum at the earliest timepoint of sampling (4 hrs after birth), increased between 4 and 24 hrs, and then declined to near-nondetectable levels by 2 weeks of life. Our data show that the neonatal period in the bovine species is characterized by highly elevated and coordinated NO-generating and nitrosylation events, with the ontogenetic changes occurring in iNOS and eNOS contents in key tissues as well as RSNO products and associated antioxidant markers.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute for Infectious Diseases
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Veterinary Physiology

UniBE Contributor:

Christen, Stephan and Blum, Jürg




Society for Experimental Biology & Medicine




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:53

Last Modified:

21 Jan 2014 15:05

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Web of Science ID:


URI: (FactScience: 36162)

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