The Importance of Superoxide in Nitric Oxide-Dependent Toxicity

Evidence for Peroxynitrite-Mediated Injury
  • John P. Crow
  • Joseph S. Beckman
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 387)


The potent vasodilator effects of pharmacological agents such as nitroglycerin have been known for over 100 years. In the last 20 years evidence has accumulated suggesting that nitric oxide is the species responsible for the biological effects of nitro-vasodilators. However, only within the last 10 years has the importance of earlier studies become clear; nitric oxide is an enzymatically-produced second messenger. Work of atmospheric chemists would indicate that nitrogen oxides like nitric oxide are harmful, yet we live out our lives constantly generating nitric oxide in endothelial cells and neurons and pharmacologic doses of nitro-vasodilators are devoid of overt toxicity. Furthermore, at physiologically relevent concentrations, no direct toxicity of nitric oxide itself has been demonstrated. Nontheless, endogenous production of nitric oxide has been implicated in reoxygenation injury following ischemia (1,2), glutamate-mediated neuronal toxicity (2,3), inflammation (4–6) and graft versus host disease (7–9). How then, can nitric oxide be injurious?


Nitric Oxide Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Guanylate Cyclase Nitrogen Dioxide Hydroxyl Radical Production 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • John P. Crow
    • 1
  • Joseph S. Beckman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Anesthesiology, THT 958University of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA

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