Vol. 4, No. 3, 1998 Page 7


Because excess production of nitric oxide is linked to stroke and other health problems, researchers are hoping to develop drugs that inhibit nNOS (an enzyme necessary for formation of nitric oxide). A new study, however, suggests caution in the use of such drugs.

Previously, Gregory Demas and colleagues reported that mice lacking a gene essential for the production of nNOS became highly aggressive (see related article, Crime Times, 1996, Vol. 2, No. 1, Page 4). Recently, the researchers tested the effects of nNOS inhibitors on normal mice, and found that the mice were significantly more aggressive than control mice. "The substantial aggressive behavior soon after administration of a nNOS inhibitor," the researchers warn, "raises concerns about adverse behavioral sequelae of such pharmacological agents."


"Inhibition of neuronal nitric oxide synthase increases aggressive behavior in mice," Gregory E. Demas et al., Molecular Medicine, Vol. 3, No. 9, Sept. 1997, pp. 610-616. Address: Solomon Snyder, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, 725 North Wolfe St., Baltimore, MD 21205.

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