Nitric oxide, a protective molecule in the cardiovascular system

Jing Lei*, Yoram Vodovotz, Edith Tzeng, Timothy R. Billiar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

147 Scopus citations


Nitric oxide (NO) is an intra- and inter-signaling molecule that regulates vessel dilatation, neuronal transmission, cardiac contraction, immunomodulation, and stem cell differentiation and proliferation. NO plays an important protective role in the cardiovascular system. NO inhibits smooth muscle cells proliferation and migration; enhances proliferation and migration of endothelial cell and inhibits apoptosis; suppresses platelet aggregation; and prevents platelet, leukocyte and monocyte adhesion to endothelium. NO exerts an inhibitory effect on the development of intimal hyperplasia in mechanically or immunologically injured vessel. New therapeutic approaches aimed at enhancing NO bioavailability or assisting delivery of NO locally may help patients with cardiovascular disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-185
Number of pages11
JournalNitric Oxide - Biology and Chemistry
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Blood vessel injury
  • Endothelial cell
  • Intimal hyperplasia
  • Nitric oxide
  • Smooth muscle cell
  • Transplant vasculopathy


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