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Swiss Med Wkly. 2006 Feb 18;136(7-8):103-13.

Coronary artery disease, nitric oxide and oxidative stress: the "Yin-Yang" effect--a Chinese concept for a worldwide pandemic.

Author information

1
Swiss Cardiovascular Centre, Bern, Switzerland. Stephan.cook@insel.ch

Abstract

Prevention of coronary artery disease (CAD) and reduction of its mortality and morbidity remains a major public health challenge throughout the "Western world". Recent evidence supports the concept that the impairment of endothelial function, a hallmark of insulin resistance states, is an upstream event in the pathophysiology of insulin resistance and its main corollaries: atherosclerosis and myocardial infarction. Atherosclerosis is currently thought to be the consequence of a subtle imbalance between pro- and anti-oxidants that produces favourable conditions for lesion progression towards acute thrombotic complications and clinical events. Over the last decade, a remarkable burst of evidence has accumulated, offering the new perspective that bioavailable nitric oxide (NO) plays a pivotal role throughout the CAD-spectrum, from its genesis to the outcome after acute events. Vascular NO is a critical modulator of coronary blood flow by inhibiting smooth muscle contraction and platelet aggregation. It also acts in angiogenesis and cytoprotection. Defective endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) driven NO synthesis causes development of major cardiovascular risk factors (insulin resistance, arterial hypertension and dyslipidaemia) in mice, and characterises CAD-prone insulin-resistant humans. On the other hand, stimulation of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and NO overproduction causes metabolic insulin resistance and characterises atherosclerosis, heart failure and cardiogenic shock in humans, suggesting a "Yin-Yang" effect of NO in the cardiovascular homeostasis. Here, we will present a concise overview of the evidence for this novel concept, providing the conceptual framework for developing a potential therapeutic strategy to prevent and treat CAD.

PMID:
16633954
DOI:
2006/07/smw-11068
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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