Effect of nitroblue tetrazolium on NO synthase and motor function of opossum esophagus

Jeffrey L. Conklin, Brian W. O'Meara, Joseph A. Murray, Sheng Yun Fang, Eugene D. Clark, James Christensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Nitric oxide mediates neuromuscular events in the opossum esophagus. The NADPH diaphorase stain is used to localize nitric oxide synthase-containing enteric neurons. Cells stain by the NADPH diaphorase technique because they reduce nitroblue tetrazolium to the visible formazan. The effects of nitroblue tetrazolium on neuromuscular function and nitric oxide synthase of esophageal muscle were studied. The NADPH diaphorase stain was performed. Nitroblue tetrazolium inhibited lower esophageal sphincter relaxation, abolished the latency gradient of the off response, and inhibited nitric oxide synthase. The NADPH diaphorase technique stained myenteric plexus nerve cell bodies and nerve processes. Nitroblue tetrazolium is not a nonspecific muscle or nerve toxin, as nerve-mediated cholinergic responses, responses to exogenous nitric oxide, and responses to myogenic stimulation were maintained after nitroblue tetrazolium abolished the off response and lower esophageal sphincter relaxation. Nitroblue tetrazolium inhibits nitric oxide-mediated events and nitric oxide synthase. It stains neurons in the esophageal myenteric plexus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2390-2397
Number of pages8
JournalDigestive diseases and sciences
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1995


  • NADPH diaphorase
  • autonomic nervous system
  • enteric nervous system
  • gastrointestinal motility
  • nitric oxide
  • nonadrenergic
  • noncholinergic nerves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology


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