Nitric oxide in the pathogenesis of cardiac disease.

Leopoldo Raij

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Endothelial dysfunction is characterized by a vasoconstrictive and prothrombotic state in the vasculature; it plays a role in all stages of cardiac disease and is a significant independent predictor of cardiovascular outcomes. Nitric oxide (NO) performs multiple biologic activities in the endothelium, including vasodilation and antithrombotic actions. Reduced NO bioactivity is a major component of endothelial dysfunction. Impaired NO bioactivity is an important factor in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and in the metabolic syndrome. The functions of NO bioactivity in the heart go well beyond those in the endothelium, as all 3 NO synthase (NOS) isoforms-endothelial NOS, neuronal NOS, and inducible NOS-are expressed in cardiac myocytes and mediate systolic, diastolic, and chronotropic cardiac functions. Impairment of NO bioactivity is a pathogenic factor in various forms of cardiac disease. Although these findings support the potential use of NO-targeted therapies for treatment of cardiac disease, the complexities of the biologic actions of NO in the vasculature and heart are such that development of therapies is still largely in the preliminary stages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-39
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of clinical hypertension (Greenwich, Conn.)
Issue number12 Suppl 4
StatePublished - Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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