Physiology of Nitric Oxide in the Respiratory System

M Antosova, D Mokra, L Pepucha, J Plevkova, T Buday, M Sterusky, A Bencova
2017 Physiol. Res   unpublished
Nitric oxide (NO) is an important endogenous neurotransmitter and mediator. It participates in regulation of physiological processes in different organ systems including airways. Therefore, it is important to clarify its role in the regulation of both airway and vascular smooth muscle, neurotransmission and neurotoxicity, mucus transport, lung development and in the surfactant production. The bioactivity of NO is highly variable and depends on many factors: the presence and activity of
more » ... ctivity of NO-producing enzymes, activity of competitive enzymes (e.g. arginase), the amount of substrate for the NO production, the presence of reactive oxygen species and others. All of these can change NO primary physiological role into potentially harmful. The borderline between them is very fragile and in many cases not entirely clear. For this reason, the research focuses on a comprehensive understanding of NO synthesis and its metabolic pathways, genetic polymorphisms of NO synthesizing enzymes and related effects. Research is also motivated by frequent use of exhaled NO monitoring in the clinical manifestations of respiratory diseases. The review focuses on the latest knowledge about the production and function of this mediator and understanding the basic physiological processes in the airways.