Archives of Pharmacal Research

, Volume 32, Issue 8, pp 1103-1108

First online:

Nitric oxide and pathogenic mechanisms involved in the development of vascular diseases

  • Claudio NapoliAffiliated withDepartment of General Pathology and Excellence Research Center on Cardiovascular Diseases, Chair of Clinical Pathology, 1St School of Medicine, II University of NaplesDepartment of General Pathology, 1St School of Medicine, II University of Naples Email author 
  • , Louis J. IgnarroAffiliated withDepartment of Medical and Molecular Pharmacology, University of California Los Angeles, David Geffen School of Medicine, Center for Health SciencesWCU program, School of Medicine, Konkuk University

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Nitric oxide (NO) is a pivotal signaling messenger in the cardiovascular system. NO participates in regulatory functions including control of hemostasis, fibrinolysis, platelet and leukocyte interactions with the arterial wall, regulation of vascular tone, proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells, and homeostasis of blood pressure. Diminished NO bioavailability and abnormalities in NO-dependent signaling are among central factors of vascular disease, although it is unclear whether this is a cause of, or result of endothelial dysfunction or both pathogenic events. Disturbances in NO bioavailability have been linked to cause endothelial dysfunction, leading to increased susceptibility to atherosclerotic lesion progression, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes mellitus, thrombosis and stroke.

Key words

Nitric oxide Atherosclerosis Smooth muscle cells