Nitric oxide is a potent vasodilator that plays a critical role in disorders of erythrocyte function. Sickle cell
disease, paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria and banked blood preservation are three conditions where nitric oxide is
intimately related to dysfunctional erythrocytes. These conditions are accompanied by hemolysis, thrombosis and
vasoocclusion. Our understanding of the interaction between nitric oxide, hemoglobin, and the vasculature is constantly
evolving, and by defining this role we can better direct trials aimed at improving the treatments of disorders of erythrocyte
function. Here we briefly discuss nitric oxide’s interaction with hemoglobin through the hypothesis regarding Snitrosohemoglobin,
deoxyhemoglobin, and myoglobin as nitrite reductases. We then review the current understanding of
the role of nitric oxide in sickle cell disease, paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, and banked blood, and discuss
therapeutics in development to target nitric oxide in the treatment of some of these disorders.
Keywords: Banked blood, erythrocytes, hemoglobin, nitric oxide, nitrite reductase, sickle cell disease.
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