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Evidence for in vivo transport of bioactive nitric oxide in human plasma

Rassaf, Tienush, Preik, Michael, Kleinbongard, Petra, Lauer, Thomas, Heiß, Christian, Strauer, Bodo-Eckehard, Feelisch, Martin and Kelm, Malte (2002) Evidence for in vivo transport of bioactive nitric oxide in human plasma Journal of Clinical Investigation, 109, (9), pp. 1241-1248. (doi:10.1172/JCI14995). (PMID:11994413).

Record type: Article


Although hitherto considered as a strictly locally acting vasodilator, results from recent clinical studies with inhaled nitric oxide (NO) indicate that NO can exert effects beyond the pulmonary circulation. We therefore sought to investigate potential remote vascular effects of intra-arterially applied aqueous NO solution and to identify the mechanisms involved. On bolus application of NO into the brachial artery of 32 healthy volunteers, both diameter of the downstream radial artery and forearm blood flow increased in a dose-dependent manner. Maximum dilator responses were comparable to those after stimulation of endogenous NO formation with acetylcholine and bradykinin. Response kinetics and pattern of NO decomposition suggested that despite the presence of hemoglobin-containing erythrocytes, a significant portion of NO was transported in its unbound form. Infusion of NO (36 micromol/min) into the brachial artery increased levels of plasma nitroso species, nitrite, and nitrate in the draining antecubital vein (by < 2-fold, 30-fold, and 4-fold, respectively), indicative of oxidative and nitrosative chemistry. Infused N-oxides were inactive as vasodilators whereas S-nitrosoglutathione dilated conduit and resistance arteries. Our results suggest that NO can be transported in bioactive form for significant distances along the vascular bed. Both free NO and plasma nitroso species contribute to the dilation of the downstream vasculature.

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Published date: 1 May 2002
Organisations: Clinical & Experimental Sciences


Local EPrints ID: 337866
ISSN: 0021-9738
PURE UUID: e054975f-16bb-4b41-821c-e7967ba4dd19
ORCID for Martin Feelisch: ORCID iD

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Date deposited: 22 Jun 2012 12:38
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 06:00

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Author: Tienush Rassaf
Author: Michael Preik
Author: Petra Kleinbongard
Author: Thomas Lauer
Author: Christian Heiß
Author: Bodo-Eckehard Strauer
Author: Martin Feelisch ORCID iD
Author: Malte Kelm

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