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Crit Rev Toxicol. 2001 Jul;31(4-5):489-501.

Nitric oxide: biphasic dose responses.

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Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health and Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst 01003, USA.


The capacity of nitric oxide (NO) to affect biphasic dose responses in pharmacological and toxicological systems was assessed. Numerous examples of such biphasic responses were documented, including osteoclast differentiation, various vascular responses, neutrophil migration, superoxide anion formation, exploratory behavior in rodents, vitamin D3 levels in macrophages, human sperm motility and mobility, myocardial contraction, and other functions. The quantitative features of the dose response indicated a maximum stimulatory response usually less than twofold greater than the controls. While the stimulatory range was variable, ranging from approximately 2.5 to 500-fold, the majority was < or = 10-fold. These findings indicate that biphasic dose-response relationships are common manifestations of the NO-induced effects.

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