Effects of NO on mitochondrial function in cardiomyocytes: Pathophysiological relevance.
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Although the specific roles of nitric oxide (NO) in the heart in general and on cardiac mitochondria in particular remain controversial, it is now clear that both endogenous and exogenous sources of NO exert important modulatory effects on mitochondrial function. There is also growing evidence that NO can be produced within the mitochondria themselves. NO can influence respiratory activity, both through direct effects on the respiratory chain or indirectly via modulation of mitochondrial calcium accumulation. At pathological concentrations, NO can cause irreversible alterations in respiratory function and can also interact with reactive oxygen species (ROS) to form reactive nitrogen species, which may further impair mitochondrial respiration and can even lead to opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore and cell death. Diabetes, aging, myocardial ischemia, and heart failure have all been associated with altered ROS generation, which can alter the delicate regulatory balance of effects of NO in the mitochondria. As NO competes with oxygen at cytochrome oxidase, it can be argued that experiments exploring the roles of NO on mitochondrial respiration should be performed at physiological (i.e. relatively low) oxygen tensions. Improvements in techniques, and a gradual appreciation of the many potential pitfalls in studying mitochondrial NO, are leading to a recognition of the role of NO in the regulation of mitochondrial function in the heart in health and disease. (c) 2006 European Society of Cardiology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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