Nitric Oxide Anti-inflammatory Properties
NO, an oxidation product of nitrogen, is produced normally by many cell types, including endothelial cells and macrophages. NO has functions ranging from neurotransmission, anti-infectives, vasodilatation to being tumoricidal. NO also possesses antiinflammatory effects, which may be exerted via its ability to inhibit the transcription factor, NF-kappa B and other inflammatory cytokines. Antioxidants, including pyruvate have been shown to protect NO from other oxygen radicals, which allows NO to deactivate NF-kappa B. NO also produces clinically useful bronchodilation and is also used by the body to kill bacteria, fungal infections, viral infections, and tumors. NO can kill these cell types because bacterial, viral, and tumor cells have no defenses against NO. Normal mammalian cells can cope with normal levels of NO by using enzyme systems to use or deactivate elevated cellular levels of NO. NO is the main mediator of the tumoricidal action of activated macrophages.