Nitric oxide signaling in the brain: A new target for inhaled nitric oxide?

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Nitric oxide (NO) is a powerful vasodilator, involved in both physiological functions and pathophysiological alterations of various regulatory processes, for example, the maintenance of vascular tone and inflammation. The recently demonstrated impact of exogenous NO on the central nervous system extends its role under normal and pathological conditions. At times neuroprotective, at times neurotoxic, NO is capable of different effects depending upon the extent of cerebral damage, the cellular redox state, and the spatiotemporal coordinates and concentration at which it is synthesized. This review provides new insights into the short- and long-term effects of endogenous and exogenous NO in brain injury. ANN NEUROL 2013;73:442–448

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