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Curr Neuropharmacol. 2012 Dec;10(4):303-10. doi: 10.2174/157015912804143522.

Neuronal-glial Interactions Define the Role of Nitric Oxide in Neural Functional Processes.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacy and Biotechnology, University of Bologna, Italy.


Nitric oxide (NO) is a versatile cellular messenger performing a variety of physiologic and pathologic actions in most tissues. It is particularly important in the nervous system, where it is involved in multiple functions, as well as in neuropathology, when produced in excess. Several of these functions are based on interactions between NO produced by neurons and NO produced by glial cells, mainly astrocytes and microglia. The present paper briefly reviews some of these interactions, in particular those involved in metabolic regulation, control of cerebral blood flow, axonogenesis, synaptic function and neurogenesis. Aim of the paper is mainly to underline the physiologic aspects of these interactions rather than the pathologic ones.


Astrocytes; Microglia.; Neurons; Nitric oxide; Nitric oxide synthases

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