Nitrite, NO and hypoxic vasodilation

Jason D. Allen, Andrew J. Gow

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The ability to deliver oxygen and other nutrients to working tissues at a rate acutely matched to demand is the quintessential function of the cardiovascular system. Thus, an understanding of the biochemical mechanisms involved in hypoxic vasodilation remains a major goal in vascular biology. Nitric oxide, its metabolites, and oxidation status are recognized as playing important roles in this process. Previous work examining how nitrite can be converted to bioactive nitric oxide (NO) under hypoxic conditions has focused on the role of the red blood cell and haemoglobin. In a recent issue of the British Journal of Pharmacology, Pinder et al. demonstrate that plasma nitrite, in the absence of haemoglobin, is capable of increasing the maximal dilation of rabbit aortic rings under hypoxic conditions. Furthermore, they demonstrate that this relaxation can occur with or without the endothelium. This observation, even if it is only a small proportion of the relaxant activity of nitrite, highlights how NO metabolites may be involved in a variety of mechanisms of vessel control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1653-1654
Number of pages2
JournalBritish Journal of Pharmacology
Volume158
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Hypoxia
  • Nitric oxide
  • Nitrite
  • Vasodilation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

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