NO is produced endogenously from L-arginine by NOSs. Among its multiple activities, the homeostatic control of the vascular endothelium is crucial for atherosclerosis, a pathogenic condition connected with elevated levels of LDL, the main plasma cholesterol carrier. Oxidised LDL is proatheromatic, and toxic peroxidation products contribute to further endothelial damage. .NO controls vascular tone, inhibits LDL oxidation and has hypocholesterolaemic activity. This review is referred to the chemistry, biology and role of .NO on atherosclerosis and its treatment by .NO donors or modulators.
Keywords: atherosclerosis, l-arginine, multiple activities, plasma cholesterol carrier, modulators, iron-containing enzymes, high diffusion capacity, high density lipoprotein(hdl)
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