Brain iNOS: Current understanding and clinical implications

Julio Licinio, Paolo Prolo, Samuel M. McCann, Ma Li Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Citations (Scopus)


Nitric oxide (NO) is a unique informational substance first identified as the endothelium-derived relaxing factor. It is generated by NO synthases and plays a prominent role in controlling a variety of organ functions in the cardiovascular, immune, reproductive and nervous systems. Inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) is not normally present in the brain in youth but it can be detected in the brain after inflammatory, infectious or ischemic damage, as well as in the normal, aging brain. Brain iNOS seems to contribute to the pathophysiology of many diseases that involve the central nervous system, but the role of iNOS appears to go beyond tissue damage. Brain iNOS might be required for adequate repair following injury or damage. The effects of brain iNOS on the balance between damage and repair make this enzyme a promising therapeutic target in human disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-232
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular Medicine Today
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished or Issued - May 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Genetics

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