NO and the vasculature: Where does it come from and what does it do?

Karen L. Andrews, Chris R. Triggle, Anthie Ellis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

22 Citations (Scopus)


Nitric oxide (NO) is involved in a large number of cellular processes and dysfunctions in NO production have been implicated in many different disease states. In the vasculature NO is released by endothelial cells where it modulates the underlying smooth muscle to regulate vascular tone. Due to the unique chemistry of NO, such as it reactive and free radical nature, it can interact with many different cerellular constituents such as thiols and transition metal ions, which determine its cellular actions. In this review we also discuss many of the useful pharmacological tools that have been developed and used extensively to establish the involvement of NO in endothelium-derived relaxations. In addition, the recent literature identifying a potential source of NO in endothelial cells, which is not directly derived from endothelial nitric oxide synthase is examined. Finally, the photorelaxation phenomena, which mediates the release of NO from a vascular smooth muscle NO store, is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5100966
Pages (from-to)423-445
Number of pages23
JournalHeart Failure Reviews
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002



  • NO chemistry
  • Nitric oxide
  • Photorelaxation
  • Vasculature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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