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nitric oxide

Thursday 4 December 2003

Definitiuon: Nitric oxide (NO) is a small endogenous ubiquitously present signaling molecule with a diverse array of physiological activities that include regulation of blood flow, immunity, inflammation, and cell survival. It has been implicated in the maintenance of malignant phenotype of many cancer types. NO is synthesized from L-Arginine by nitric oxide synthases (NOS: iNOS, eNOS, nNOS).

- Nitric oxide is a compound produced by many cells of the body. It relaxes vascular smooth muscle by binding to the heme moiety of cytosolic guanylate cyclase, activating guanylate cyclase and increasing intracellular levels of cyclic guanosine 3′,5′-monophosphate, which then leads to vasodilation. When inhaled, nitric oxide produces pulmonary vasodilation.

- Nitric oxide appears to increase the partial pressure of arterial oxygen (PaO2) by dilating pulmonary vessels in better ventilated areas of the lung, redistributing pulmonary blood flow away from lung regions with low ventilation/perfusion (V/Q) ratios toward regions with normal ratios.

- Nitric oxide gas is a drug administered by inhalation. Nitric oxide, the active substance in INOmax, is a pulmonary vasodilator.

See also

- NO synthase
- S-nitrosylation
- iNOS (inducible nitric oxide synthetase)


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