Nitric Oxide Physiology and Pathology

  • David G. HirstEmail author
  • Tracy Robson
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 704)


Nitric oxide (NO) is just one member of a new class of gaseous signalling molecules with fundamental actions in biology. In higher vertebrates it has key roles in maintaining haemostasis and in smooth muscle (especially vascular smooth muscle), neurons and the gastrointestinal tract. It is intimately involved in regulating all aspects of our lives from waking, digestion, sexual function, perception of pain and pleasure, memory recall and sleeping. Finally, the way it continues to function in our bodies will influence how we degenerate with age. It will likely play a role in our deaths through cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer. Our ability to control NO signalling and to use NO effectively in therapy must therefore have a major bearing on the future quality and duration of human life.

Key words

Nitric oxide cardiovascular cancer wound healing 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Pharmacy, Queen’s University BelfastBelfastUK

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