Krause, B.J., Hanson, Mark A. and Casanello, P.
Role of nitric oxide in placental vascular development and function.
Placenta, 32, (11), . (doi:10.1016/j.placenta.2011.06.025).
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Nitric oxide (NO) is one of the most pleiotropic signaling molecules at systemic and cellular levels, participating in vascular tone regulation, cellular respiration, proliferation, apoptosis and gene expression. Indeed NO actively participates in trophoblast invasion, placental development and represents the main vasodilator in this tissue. Despite the large number of studies addressing the role of NO in the placenta, its participation in placental vascular development and the effect of altered levels of NO on placental function remains to be clarified. This review draws a time-line of the participation of NO throughout placental vascular development, from the differentiation of vascular precursors to the consolidation of vascular function are considered. The influence of NO on cell types involved in the origin of the placental vasculature and the expression and function of the nitric oxide synthases (NOS) throughout pregnancy are described. The developmental processes involved in the placental vascular bed are considered, such as the participation of NO in placental vasculogenesis and angiogenesis through VEGF and Angiopoietin signaling molecules. The role of NO in vascular function once the placental vascular tree has developed, in normal pregnancy as well as in pregnancy-related diseases, is then discussed
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