Inhibition by nitric oxide and nitric oxide-producing vasodilators of DNA synthesis in vascular smooth muscle cells

Eur J Pharmacol. 1990 Dec 15;189(6):347-53. doi: 10.1016/0922-4106(90)90031-r.


Effects of nitric oxide (NO) and NO-producing vasodilators such as glyceryl trinitrate and sodium nitroprusside were tested on DNA synthesis in the clonal rat aortic smooth muscle cells, RACS-1. DNA synthesis was estimated by [3H]thymidine incorporation to DNA. NO and NO-producing vasodilators inhibited the DNA synthesis that was induced by 10% fetal calf serum. NO and NO-producing vasodilators also inhibited the basal level of DNA synthesis that occurred possibly as a result of autocrine mechanisms. NO-producing vasodilators also inhibited the fetal calf serum-induced proliferation of cells. Sodium nitroprusside inhibited the endothelin-mediated DNA synthesis. In another mesenchymal cell line, Chinese hamster fibroblast V79 cells, NO and NO-producing vasodilators failed to inhibit DNA synthesis, excluding the possibility of general cell toxicity. An exposure to NO and NO-producing vasodilators resulted in an increase of cyclic GMP (cGMP) content in the RACS-1 cells. A cGMP analog, 8-bromo-cGMP, inhibited DNA synthesis in the RACS-1 cells. These results suggest that EDRF/nitric oxide released from endothelium possibly contributes to inhibition of the DNA synthesis in vascular smooth muscle cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 8-Bromo Cyclic Adenosine Monophosphate / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Aorta / metabolism
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cell Line
  • Cricetinae
  • Cricetulus
  • Cyclic GMP / biosynthesis
  • DNA / biosynthesis*
  • Endothelins / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / cytology
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / drug effects
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / metabolism*
  • Nitric Oxide / pharmacology*
  • Nitroglycerin / pharmacology
  • Nitroprusside / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Vasodilator Agents / pharmacology*


  • Endothelins
  • Vasodilator Agents
  • Nitroprusside
  • 8-Bromo Cyclic Adenosine Monophosphate
  • Nitric Oxide
  • DNA
  • Nitroglycerin
  • Cyclic GMP