Related topics: high blood pressure · blood vessels

Agronomists save tomatoes from toxic aluminum with melatonin

RUDN University agronomists and colleagues from China and Iran have helped tomatoes cope with the toxic effect of aluminum in acidic soils with the help of melatonin. This hormone contributes to nitric oxide production, blocking ...

Mechanical engineering professor uses coal to create graphene

Since its initial discovery in 2004 by two professors at the University of Manchester, graphene has made a big splash in the scientific community. Its discoverers won a Nobel Prize in 2010 for developing the idea—then the ...

Beewolf symbiosis: Protective shield for allies

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena and Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, report in a new study in the journal PNAS that the symbiosis of beewolves with their bacterial helpers ...

Scientists enrich nitric oxide-reducing microbes in bioreactor

Nitric oxide (NO) is a fascinating and versatile molecule, important for all living things as well as the environment. It is highly reactive and toxic, organisms use it as a signaling molecule, it depletes the ozone layer ...

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Nitric oxide

Nitric oxide or nitrogen monoxide is a chemical compound with chemical formula NO. This gas is an important signaling molecule in the body of mammals, including humans, and is an extremely important intermediate in the chemical industry. It is also an air pollutant produced by cigarette smoke, automobile engines and power plants.

NO is an important messenger molecule involved in many physiological and pathological processes within the mammalian body both beneficial and detrimental. Appropriate levels of NO production are important in protecting an organ such as the liver from ischemic damage. However sustained levels of NO production result in direct tissue toxicity and contribute to the vascular collapse associated with septic shock, whereas chronic expression of NO is associated with various carcinomas and inflammatory conditions including juvenile diabetes, multiple sclerosis, arthritis and ulcerative colitis.

Nitric oxide should not be confused with nitrous oxide (N2O), a general anaesthetic and greenhouse gas, or with nitrogen dioxide (NO2) which is another air pollutant. The nitric oxide molecule is a free radical, which is relevant to understanding its high reactivity.

Despite being a simple molecule, NO is a fundamental player in the fields of neuroscience, physiology, and immunology, and was proclaimed “Molecule of the Year” in 1992.

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