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J Biol Regul Homeost Agents. 2014 Oct-Dec;28(4):767-73.

Nitric oxide synthase evaluation in oral precancerous and cancerous lesions.

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Department of Oral Science, University of Chieti, Italy.
University of Vita e Salute Milano, Italy.
Self-employed professional, Lecce, Italy.
Department of Oral Science, Insubria University of Varese, Italy.


Nitric Oxide (NO) has been linked to several cardiovascular, neurological and immunological physiological and pathological functions. Several studies have shown that the eNOS, nNOS and iNOS effects on cancer cell growth and proliferation are related to the upregulation of the Wnt pathway and have a central role during metastasis development. Recent studies suggest that cancer cells undergo metabolic reprogramming, which drives cancer cell growth and progression. The aim of this study was to observe the NOS activity in the pathogenesis of oral precancerous and cancerous lesions. The results showed changes in eNOS activity levels, which increased from healthy oral mucosa to oral squamous cell carcinoma SCC, through different dysplasia levels. The iNOS activity levels increased in precancerous lesions compared to healthy mucosa, where iNOS was absent, while it decreased in SCC lesions. Moreover, a gradual increase of nNOS activity together with the progression of the lesions was also found. These results may suggest how NO could play a critical role during pathogenesis, growth and development of precancerous lesions to cancer degeneration.

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