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Nitric oxide (NO) is a small gaseous molecule with an odd number of electrons and is rather soluble in hydrophobic phases. It was once known for its toxicity in the environment and for its applications in meat curing. After 1980 its importance was discovered in many physiological fields such as vascular regulation, neuronal communication, cytotoxic action by macrophages in bacterial infections etc. On the other side NO is involved in toxic shock, DNA damage and many pathological conditions. In 1992 the journal Science designated it as "molecule of the year" and in the last years there has been an explosion of publications on the subject. The publications are concerned with the spectroscopic characterisation of NO derivatives, with the reactivity of NO with Myoglobin, Cytochrome and Hemoglobin and in particular with the chemical activities and biological applications of nitric oxide donors and nitric oxide scavengers. All such researches have produced until now many patents. The most famous products are Viagra and nitroglycerine (Trinitrin).

Particular attention is given to the applications of NO to cardiovascular and hematological disorders. To this aim the authors examine the physiologic activities of NO and the mechanism of its antiplatelet, vasodilatory and antiproliferative action. Studies in animals and humans are also reported. Another section examines the drugs that increase the endogenous production of NO and modulate its activities. The last part is dedicated to the novel antithrombotic agent Nitroaspirin. Methods for NO detection will also be examined.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2006-03-01

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  • Cardiovascular & Hematological Disorders - Drug Targets aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, molecular biology, genomics and biochemistry of contemporary molecular targets involved in cardiovascular and hematological disorders e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes. Each issue of the journal will contain a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of current topics on drug targets involved in cardiovascular and hematological disorders. As the discovery, identification, characterization and validation of novel human drug targets for cardiovascular and hematological 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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