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Antioxid Redox Signal. 2000 Winter;2(4):879-901.

Detection and imaging of endogenously produced nitric oxide with electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy.

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Institute for Life Support Technology, Yamagata Public Corporation for the Development of Industry, Yamagata 990-2473, Japan.


Nitric oxide (NO) represents a new paradigm for second messengers in regulation. Despite the numerous physiological and pathophysiological functions of NO, its importance as an endogenous second messenger and a cytostatic and/or cytotoxic agent was unknown until 1987. Recent developments in detection methods for endogenous NO produced directly or indirectly from NO synthases (NOSs) have enabled major advances in our understanding of the role of NO in biological systems. The spin-trapping technique combined with electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy is a method for analyzing NO production directly both in vivo and in vitro. Iron complexes with dithiocarbamate derivatives are noteworthy among the spin-trapping reagents for NO because NO has a high affinity for iron complexes. The resultant stable nitrosyl iron complexes exhibit an intense three-line signal at room temperature and an axial signal at low temperature. Besides the facility and wide applicability of this method, its outstanding feature is that noninvasive in vivo measurements are available by using a low-frequency EPR spectrometer. In this article, we review on previous and recent developments of in vitro, in vivo, and ex vivo EPR detection and imaging of endogenously produced NO.

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