Author(s): Han TH, Qamirani E, Nelson AG, Hyduke DR, Chaudhuri G,
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Abstract The homeostasis of nitric oxide (NO) is attained through a balance between its production and consumption. Shifts in NO bioavailability have been linked to a variety of diseases. Although the regulation of NO production has been well documented, its consumption is largely thought to be unregulated. Here, we have demonstrated that under hypoxic conditions, NO accelerates its own consumption by increasing its entry into RBCs. When RBCs were exposed to NO (1:400 NO/heme ratio) under hypoxic conditions to form HbFe(II)NO, the consumption rate of NO increased significantly. This increase in NO consumption converted the bioactivity of serotonin from a vasodilator to a vasoconstrictor in isolated coronary arterioles. We identified HbFe(II)NO as a potential mediator of accelerated NO consumption. Accelerated NO consumption by HbFe(II)NO-bearing RBCs may contribute to hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction and the rebound effect seen on termination of NO inhalation therapy. Furthermore, accelerated NO consumption may exacerbate ischemia-mediated vasospasm and nitrate tolerance. Finally, this phenomenon may be an evolved mechanism to stabilize the vasculature in sepsis.
This article was published in Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Pharmacology