Pollen generates nitric oxide and nitrite: A possible link to pollen-induced allergic responses
Bright, J. , Hiscock, S. J. , James, P. E. and Hancock, J. T. (2009) Pollen generates nitric oxide and nitrite: A possible link to pollen-induced allergic responses. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, 47 (1). pp. 49-55. ISSN 0981-9428
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plaphy.2008.09.005
Reactive nitrogen species (RNS), such as nitric oxide (NO), are ubiquitous and diverse signalling molecules involved in a wide range of physiological and pathophysiological processes in both animals and plants. Nitrite, a metabolite of NO turnover, has also been recently characterised as an important mediator of fundamental physiological mechanisms in mammalian cells, and is a substrate for NO production in several plant cell signalling processes. A previous study demonstrated that during plant reproductive processes, intracellular NO is produced by pollen, and that such NO could be important in signalling interactions between pollen and stigma. The aim of this study was to establish whether pollen releases NO and nitrite, using a wide range of plant species. Using a fluorimetric assay in conjunction with electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy, the present study demonstrated that all hydrating pollen examined released NO, although some appeared to have more activity than others. Additionally, gas phase ozone-based chemiluminescence data showed that nitrite is also released from hydrating pollen. Given that pollen has interactions with other cells, for example in allergenic rhinitis (hay fever) in humans, it suggests that NO might be involved in mediating the responses of both plant and animal cells to pollen. These findings may have important implications for future allergy research, as it is possible that pollen-derived NO and nitrite may impact on mammalian cells during pollen-induced allergic responses.
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