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International Journal of Pharmacology
  Year: 2011 | Volume: 7 | Issue: 1 | Page No.: 31-39
DOI: 10.3923/ijp.2011.31.39
Nitric Oxide and the Gastrointestinal Tract
Nitin I. Kochar, Anil V. Chandewal, Ravindra L. Bakal and Priya N. Kochar

Nitric oxide is one of the smallest molecules in nature. Many mammalian cells can synthesize nitric oxide. It modulates immune function, blood vessel dilatation and neurotransmission. It is synthesized from arginine in a two-step enzyme reaction by Nitric Oxide Synthase (NOS) via the formation of the intermediate N-hydroxy-L-arginine. Over the last years numerous studies have been carried out and the important role of Nitric Oxide (NO) as endogenous modulator of numerous physiological functions has been shown. Still some areas are ill defined and lacking studies related to the exact role of such intriguing molecule. Gastrointestinal tract is one of the areas where the role of nitric oxide is scarcely studied and results are controversial. In the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) NO participates in the modulation of the smooth musculature tone, such as the regulation of intestinal peristalsis, gastric emptying and antral motor activity. It also regulates acid and gastric mucus secretion, alkaline production and is involved in the maintenance of mucosal blood flow. In physiological conditions, NO acts as an endogenous mediator modulating both, the repairing and integrity of the tissues and demonstrate gastroprotective properties against different types of aggressive agents. However, high concentrations of NO are related to numerous pathological processes of GIT. This review article brief out the findings of the studies demonstrating role of NO in various physiological and pathological conditions of gastrointestinal tract.
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How to cite this article:

Nitin I. Kochar, Anil V. Chandewal, Ravindra L. Bakal and Priya N. Kochar, 2011. Nitric Oxide and the Gastrointestinal Tract. International Journal of Pharmacology, 7: 31-39.

DOI: 10.3923/ijp.2011.31.39






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