Cardiac myocyte swelling occurs in multiple pathological situations and in particular contributes to the deleterious effects of ischemia and reperfusion by promoting contractile dysfunction. We investigated whether hypotonic swelling promotes nitric oxide (NO) release in cardiac myocytes and if so, whether it impacts on swelling induced contractile dysfunction. Perfusing rat cardiac myocytes, loaded with the NO sensor DAF-FM, with a hypotonic solution (HS; 217 mOsm), increased cell volume, reduced myocyte contraction and Ca2+ transient amplitude and significantly increased DAF-FM fluorescence. When cells were exposed to the HS supplemented with 2.5 mM of the NO synthase inhibitor L-NAME, cell swelling occurred in the absence of NO release. Swelling-induced NO release was also prevented by the NOS1 inhibitor, Nitroguanidine. In addition, Colchicine (an inhibitor of microtubule polymerization) prevented the increase in DAF-FM fluorescence induced by HS indicating that microtubule integrity is necessary for swelling-induced NO release. The swelling-induced negative inotropic effect was exacerbated in the presence of either L-NAME, Nitroguandine or the guanylate cyclase inhibitor, ODQ, suggesting that NOS1-derived NO provides contractile support via a GMP-dependent mechanism. Indeed, ODQ reduced Ca2+ wave velocity and the HS-induced increment in ryanodine receptor (RyR2) phosphorylation at site Ser2808 suggesting that in the context of hypotonic swelling, cGMP may contribute to preserve contractile function by enhancing SR Ca2+ release. Our findings suggest a novel mechanism for NO release in cardiac myocytes with putative pathophysiological relevance in the context of ischemia and reperfusion, where it may be cardioprotective by reducing the extent of contractile dysfunction associated with hypotonic swelling.