Nitric oxide donors and cardiovascular agents modulating the bioactivity of nitric oxide: An overview

Louis J. Ignarro, Claudio Napoli, Joseph Loscalzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Nitric oxide (NO) mediates multiple physiological and pathophysiological processes in the cardiovascular system. Pharmacological compounds that release NO have been useful tools for evaluating the pivotal role of NO in cardiovascular physiology and therapeutics. These agents constitute two broad classes of compounds, those that release NO or one of its redox congeners spontaneously and those that require enzymatic metabolism to generate NO. In addition, several commonly used cardiovascular drugs exert their beneficial action, in part, by modulating the NO pathway. Here, we review these classes of agents, summarizing their fundamental chemistry and pharmacology, and provide an overview of their cardiovascular mechanisms of action.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-28
Number of pages8
JournalCirculation Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 11 2002



  • Cardiovascular pharmacology
  • Endothelium
  • Nitric oxide
  • Oxidant stress
  • Vascular type

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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