Nitric oxide (NO) has multiple protective effects for regulating the cardiovascular and renal systems. The major functions include endothelium-dependent relaxation, anti-inflammatory effects, as well as antihypertrophic and antithrombotic activities. Many of the activities mediated by NO are systematically antagonized by angiotensin-II (Ang II), a vasconstrictor peptide. Studies described in the review below have demonstrated that the balance between NO and Ang II activities rather than the absolute concentration of each molecule determines their effects on the physiology and pathophysiology of the cardiovascular and renal systems. NO donors have been used for years as therapeutic agents for a range of cardiovascular conditions including angina, myocardial infarction and for the reduction of arterial stiffness. An understanding of the mechanisms underlying the effects of these medications will enable the development of novel therapies to balance the effects of NO in the cardiovascular system.
- angiotensin II
- Nitric oxide
- NO donors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine