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Trends Mol Med. 2004 Apr;10(4):143-5.

Role of eNOS in neovascularization: NO for endothelial progenitor cells.

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E.L. Steele Laboratory for Tumor Biology, Department of Radiation Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital, 100 Blossom Street, Cox-7, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


Nitric oxide (NO) is a gaseous molecule with an astonishingly wide range of physiological and pathophysiological activities, including the regulation of vessel tone and angiogenesis in wound healing, inflammation, ischaemic cardiovascular diseases and malignant diseases. Recent data have revealed the predominant role of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), an endothelial-cell-specific isoform of NO producing enzyme, in both angiogenesis (the development of new blood vessels derived from existing vessels) and vasculogenesis (blood vessel formation de novo from progenitor cells). In addition, successes in gene therapy, together with the recent development of an eNOS-specific inhibitor, suggest that the modulation of eNOS might be a potent new strategy for the control of pathological neovascularization.

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