Mechanisms for nitric oxide-induced cell death: involvement of apoptosis

Adv Neuroimmunol. 1995;5(4):411-20. doi: 10.1016/0960-5428(95)00025-9.


Recent observations suggest that apoptosis, the natural, active cell death process is also triggered in several pathological conditions including ischemic brain insult, and neuro-degenerative and autoimmune diseases. We have investigated the mechanisms involved in the development of apoptosis in neuronal and pancreatic cells and in macrophages, which were exposed to either chemical donors of nitric oxide or to inducers of the nitric oxide synthase. In this overview, we summarize current evidence for the involvement of apoptosis in the cytotoxicity of nitric oxide and discuss possible mechanisms that may lead to cell death.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • AIDS Dementia Complex / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Arginine / metabolism
  • Astrocytes / immunology
  • Astrocytes / metabolism*
  • Astrocytoma / metabolism
  • Astrocytoma / pathology
  • Brain Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Cytokines / physiology
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp120 / physiology
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / immunology
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunocompetence
  • Nervous System Diseases / immunology
  • Nervous System Diseases / metabolism*
  • Neuroimmunomodulation / physiology*
  • Nitric Oxide / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Cytokines
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp120
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Arginine