Nitric oxide (NO) is a free radical gas that plays a role in various signal transduction processes. NO has been proposed to have a function in the mechanism of synaptic plasticity, including long-term potentiation and memory formation in vivo. Because a failure in synaptic plasticity is considered to be involved in aging-associated brain dysfunction, NO production in the brain may be altered by aging. In the present study, we measured the levels of NO metabolites, nitrite and nitrate, and cyclic GMP in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of human subjects without neurological or psychiatric disorders. There were no age-related changes in the CSF levels of either nitrite, nitrate or cyclic GMP. These results suggest that NO production in the brain may be maintained during the aging process.
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