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Med Gas Res. 2017 Oct 17;7(3):194-203. doi: 10.4103/2045-9912.215750. eCollection 2017 Jul-Sep.

The role of nitric oxide in stroke.

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Department of Neurosurgery & Brain and Nerve Research Laboratory, The First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China.
Department of Interventional Radiology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China.
Department of Scott & White Clinic-Temple, Temple, TX, USA.


Stroke is considered to be an acute cerebrovascular disease, including ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke. The high incidence and poor prognosis of stroke suggest that it is a highly disabling and highly lethal disease which can pose a serious threat to human health. Nitric oxide (NO), a common gas in nature, which is often thought as a toxic gas, because of its intimate relationship with the pathological processes of many diseases, especially in the regulation of blood flow and cell inflammation. However, recent years have witnessed an increased interest that NO plays a significant and positive role in stroke as an essential gas signal molecule. In view of the fact that the neuroprotective effect of NO is closely related to its concentration, cell type and time, only in the appropriate circumstances can NO play a protective effect. The purpose of this review is to summarize the roles of NO in ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke.


endothelial nitric oxide synthase; hemorrhagic stroke; inducible nitric oxide synthase; ischemia stroke; neuronal nitric oxide synthase; neuroprotection; neurotoxicity; nitric oxide

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Conflicts of interest The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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