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J Pathol. 2003 Jan;199(1):8-17.

Protective role of endothelial nitric oxide synthase.

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Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University Hospital Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.


Nitric oxide is a versatile molecule, with its actions ranging from haemodynamic regulation to anti-proliferative effects on vascular smooth muscle cells. Nitric oxide is produced by the nitric oxide synthases, endothelial NOS (eNOS), neural NOS (nNOS), and inducible NOS (iNOS). Constitutively expressed eNOS produces low concentrations of NO, which is necessary for a good endothelial function and integrity. Endothelial derived NO is often seen as a protective agent in a variety of diseases. This review will focus on the potential protective role of eNOS. We will discuss recent data derived from studies in eNOS knockout mice and other experimental models. Furthermore, the role of eNOS in human diseases is described and possible therapeutic intervention strategies will be discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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