Nitric Oxide Increases the Damaging Effects of Hydrogen Peroxide on a Crayfish Neuromuscular Junction
Hydrogen peroxide, a reactive oxygen species, causes damage to the neuromuscular junction by inhibiting synaptic transmission. Nitric oxide is a chemical that has been tested in conjunction with hydrogen peroxide and can either react with hydrogen peroxide to form peroxynitrite, which will further harm the cell, or bind with hydrogen peroxide and prevent it from negatively affecting the neuromuscular junction. We hypothesized that the addition of nitric oxide to hydrogen peroxide will impair the crayfish neuromuscular junction and diminish the excitatory junction potential. We tested this idea by using a dull suction electrode to stimulate the motor nerve to extensor muscles in the crayfish tail with the specimen submerged in three different solutions: Ringer’s saline (control), hydrogen peroxide, and hydrogen peroxide with nitric oxide. We found that the excitatory junction potential decreases significantly compared to the control when the crayfish is submerged in hydrogen peroxide, and the excitatory junction potential decreases further when nitric oxide is added.