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Lancet. 1990 Oct 13;336(8720):897-900.

Low basal and stimulated release of nitric oxide in atherosclerotic epicardial coronary arteries.

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National Heart and Lung Institute, Harefield Hospital, Middlesex, UK.


Endothelium-dependent relaxations in response to substance P and bradykinin were lower in atherosclerotic than in normal human coronary arteries. The relaxation induced by substance P was inhibited by L-NG-monomethylarginine (L-NMMA), which shows that release of nitric oxide is involved in the mediation of endothelium-dependent relaxation in these arteries. L-NMMA also inhibited a basal component of endothelium-dependent relaxation. The basal secretion of nitric oxide was significantly lower in diseased than in normal arteries. These findings suggest that atherosclerotic human coronary arteries lack an important protective mechanism that normally guards against vasospasm and thrombosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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