Oxidative stress and endothelial nitric oxide bioactivity

Antioxid Redox Signal. 2003 Apr;5(2):181-94. doi: 10.1089/152308603764816541.


The endothelium plays an important role in the maintenance of vascular homeostasis. Central to this role is the endothelial production of nitric oxide (NO), synthesized by the constitutively expressed endothelial isoform of nitric oxide synthase. Vascular diseases, including hypertension, diabetes, and atherosclerosis, are characterized by impaired endothelium-derived NO bioactivity that may contribute to clinical cardiovascular events. Growing evidence indicates that impaired endothelium-derived NO bioactivity is due, in part, to excess vascular oxidative stress. This review outlines how different forms of oxidative stress can impact on NO bioactivity and discusses strategies to prevent oxidative stress-induced endothelial dysfunction.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Endothelium, Vascular / pathology
  • Humans
  • Lipid Peroxidation
  • Models, Biological
  • NADPH Oxidases / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism*
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase / chemistry
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase / metabolism*
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Oxygen / metabolism
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Vascular Diseases / metabolism


  • Nitric Oxide
  • NOS3 protein, human
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III
  • NADPH Oxidases
  • Oxygen