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The Many Antithrombotic Actions of Nitric Oxide

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Vessel occlusion within a coronary artery is the precipitating event in unstable coronary syndromes and is primarily due to rupture of atheromatous plaque and subsequent thrombus formation. In the nondiseased vessel, the intact endothelium releases the vasodilator and antithrombotic agent nitric oxide (NO) preventing platelet adherence and activation. In the diseased vessel and during unstable coronary syndromes, release of both endothelial and platelet NO is impaired contributing to thrombus formation. Nitric oxide availability in the vascular system has been associated with various disease states, genetic variants, and medication use. Recently, through the development of new NO donors and by targeting specific signaling pathways, there has been an attempt to enhance the antithrombotic actions of NO as a means to manipulate arterial thrombosis.

Keywords: Platelets; endothelium; nitric oxide; thrombosis

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Boston University School of Medicine, 715 Albany Street, W507, Boston, MA 02118, USA.

Publication date: October 1, 2006

More about this publication?
  • Current Drug Targets aims to cover the latest and most outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry and pharmacology of molecular drug targets e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes. Each issue of the journal will be devoted to a single timely topic, with series of in-depth reviews, written by leaders in the field, covering a range of current topics on drug targets. These issues will be organized and led by a guest editor who is a recognized expert in the overall topic. As the discovery, identification, characterisation and validation of novel human drug targets for drug discovery continues to grow; this journal will be essential reading for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug discovery and development.

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