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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1999 May 5;1411(2-3):401-14.

Nitric oxide and cell death.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Otago, Box 56, Dunedin, New Zealand.


Nitric oxide (NO) has several essential roles in mammals, but unregulated NO production can cause cell death through oxidative stress, disrupted energy metabolism, DNA damage, activation of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase, or dysregulation of cytosolic calcium. Such disturbances can lead to either apoptotic or necrotic cell death, depending on the severity and context of the damage. Here I review the mechanisms by which NO kills cells and discuss how NO thereby contributes to ischaemia-reperfusion injury and neurodegeneration.

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