Role of nitric oxide in wound repair

Am J Surg. 2002 Apr;183(4):406-12. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9610(02)00815-2.


After injury, wound healing is essential for recovery of the integrity of the body. It is a complex, sequential cascade of events. Nitric oxide (NO) is a small radical, formed from the amino acid L-arginine by three distinct isoforms of nitric oxide synthase. The inducible isoform (iNOS) is synthesized in the early phase of wound healing by inflammatory cells, mainly macrophages. However many cells participate in NO synthesis during the proliferative phase after wounding. NO released through iNOS regulates collagen formation, cell proliferation and wound contraction in distinct ways in animal models of wound healing. Although iNOS gene deletion delays, and arginine and NO administration improve healing, the exact mechanisms of action of NO on wound healing parameters are still unknown. The current review summarizes what is known about the role of NO in wound healing and points out path for further research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arginine / metabolism
  • Collagen / biosynthesis
  • Humans
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Models, Animal
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism*
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase / metabolism*
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Rats
  • Wound Healing / physiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / physiopathology


  • Protein Isoforms
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Collagen
  • Arginine
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase