How does nitric oxide dilate blood vessels?
Little did he know nitroglycerin acts by releasing nitric oxide which relaxes narrowed blood vessels, increasing oxygen and blood flow. The interior surface (endothelium) of your arteries produce nitric oxide.
Reduction of inorganic nitrate may also serve to make nitric oxide. The endothelium (inner lining) of blood vessels uses nitric oxide to signal the surrounding smooth muscle to relax, thus resulting in vasodilation and increasing blood flow.
- The contraction of the smooth muscle cells present in the walls of the vessels, leads to vasoconstriction. Vasoconstriction results in an increase in the blood pressure. Nitric oxide (NO) is a paracrine chemical which causes relaxation of the afferent arteriole, resulting in vasodilation.
- Looking at the formula, the difference between nitric and nitrous oxide is just one nitrogen atom — nitric oxide (NO) has one, while nitrous oxide (N2O) has two. Both nitric and nitrous oxide are gases, but that one little atom makes a big difference chemically!
- Nitric oxide synthases (EC 18.104.22.168) (NOSs) are a family of enzymes catalyzing the production of nitric oxide (NO) from L-arginine. NO is an important cellular signaling molecule. It helps modulate vascular tone, insulin secretion, airway tone, and peristalsis, and is involved in angiogenesis and neural development.
Updated: 2nd October 2019