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Nitric Oxide: Synthesis and Action

  1. Kenneth K Wu

Published Online: 19 APR 2001

DOI: 10.1038/npg.els.0000634



How to Cite

Wu, K. K. 2001. Nitric Oxide: Synthesis and Action. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. University of Texas Health Sciences Center, Houston, Texas, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 19 APR 2001


Nitric oxide is an important mediator of diverse physiological functions such as vascular relaxation, neurotransmission and host defence. It is synthesized endogenously by the action of nitric oxide synthases and formed from organic nitrates and nitrites. Through its action on guanylyl cyclase it increases cellular levels of cyclic GMP, which accounts for most NO activities. Excessive NO production causes tissue damages through its direct actions on intracellular constituents and its formation of peroxynitrite with superoxide.


  • nitric oxide;
  • nitric oxide synthase;
  • guanylyl cyclase;
  • peroxynitrite;
  • neurotoxicity