Nitric Oxide: A Regulator of Cellular Function in Health and Disease

[First paragraph] Nitric oxide (NO) is a gaseous messenger molecule synthesized from L-arginine and molecular oxygen by three different NO synthases, that is, neuronal (nNOS), endothelial (eNOS), and inducible (iNOS) form [1]. Since its discovery in the early 1980s by the three Nobel Laureates Furchgott, Ignarro & Murad [2], NO has been widely recognised as an important signalling molecule in many physiological processes. The initial identification of NO as an endothelium-derived relaxing factor (EDRF) [3] generated great interest in its function in vascular biology. Over the following years, however, the focus on NO research rapidly expanded from the vascular system to its role in immunity and inflammation, the nervous system, pregnancy, aging, and cell death.

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