Diffusional Control of Nitric Oxide in the Vessel Wall

Katherine C. Wood, Roger A. Alvarez, Adam C. Straub

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


Despite its simple molecular makeup, reactive chemical properties, and diffusion characteristics, nitric oxide (. NO) can invoke complex and contradictory actions in vascular cells, producing both beneficial and toxic effects. To balance the potent signaling actions of NO, vascular cells have evolved mechanisms to fine-tune and compartmentalize NO diffusion, allowing for the precise signaling necessary for normal vascular function. Some of the cellular processes that affect NO diffusion and signaling include control of NO synthase (NOS) expression, activity and localization, reactions with reactive oxygen species, and interactions with metalloproteins. When pathological processes perturb any of these processes, NO diffusion and signaling may be affected. Here we discuss the basic physiologic mechanisms regulating NO diffusion in the vessel wall and examples of pathological alterations occurring in disease. We also describe instances where our understanding of these mechanisms may lead to advancement toward therapies to restore balanced physiologic NO signaling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNitric Oxide
Subtitle of host publicationBiology and Pathobiology: Third Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9780128042731
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Diffusion
  • Heme
  • Hemoglobin
  • Nitric oxide
  • Nitric oxide synthase
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Vascular

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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