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Medicina is published by MDPI from Volume 54 Issue 1 (2018). Articles in this Issue were published by another publisher in Open Access under a CC-BY (or CC-BY-NC-ND) licence. Articles are hosted by MDPI on mdpi.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Lithuanian Medical Association, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, and Vilnius University.
Open AccessArticle

Endothelium and nitric oxide

Institute of Cardiology, Kaunas University of Medicine, Lithuania
Medicina 2008, 44(7), 564; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina44070073
Received: 17 October 2007 / Accepted: 30 June 2008 / Published: 30 June 2008
Studied nature of the “blood vessels relaxing factor” derived fromendotheliumthat was identified as nitric oxide caused intensive scientific research on nitric oxide regarding some aspects of its impact on human physiological and pathological processes. The objective of this short review is to discuss widely used (in the clinical practice) direct and indirect donors of nitric oxide and/or other agents, increasing nitric oxide concentration in human body, and their beneficial role for the prevention of atherosclerosis. Under physiological conditions, endotheliumregulates the tone of blood vessels, homeostasis of which is maintained by endotheliumgenerated vasoconstrictors and vasodilators. The most important vasodilator and the main substance produced by the endothelium is nitric oxide. The failure of synthesis and/or the lost of nitric oxide bioavailability is the major feature of endothelial dysfunction and key factor initiating progression of atherosclerosis. The endothelial dysfunction initiates the series of events, which stimulate and aggravate the course of atherosclerosis by increasing endothelial permeability, platelet aggregation, and leukocyte adhesion, and cytokine expression. Further, the review deals with the mechanisms of action of statins, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, L-arginine, direct nitric oxide donors (nitroglycerin, isosorbide mononitrate and isosorbide dinitrate), and indirect nitric oxide donors (phosphodiesterase-V inhibitors, KATP openers).
Keywords: endothelium; nitric oxide; angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors; nitric oxide donors endothelium; nitric oxide; angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors; nitric oxide donors
MDPI and ACS Style

Garalienė, V. Endothelium and nitric oxide. Medicina 2008, 44, 564.

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