Nitric oxide: Biologic effects on muscle and role in muscle diseases

H. J. Kaminski, F. H. Andrade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Nitric oxide is a ubiquitous cell-signaling molecule involved in regulation of numerous homeostatic mechanisms and in mediation of tissue injury. Nitric oxide influences contraction, blood flow, and metabolism, as well as myogenesis. Nitric oxide exerts its influence by activation of guanylate cyclase and nitrosylation of proteins, which include glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, the ryanodine receptor and actomyosin ATPase. Skeletal muscle expresses all three isoforms of the nitric oxide synthase, including a muscle-specific splice variant; expression of the isoforms is fiber-type specific and influenced by age and disease. Nitric oxide produced with certain systemic conditions and local inflammation is likely toxic to skeletal muscle, either directly or in reactions with oxygen-derived radicals. Although nitric oxide impacts on many functions in muscle, its effects are subtle, and much work remains to be done to determine its importance in the pathogenesis of muscle diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)517-524
Number of pages8
JournalNeuromuscular Disorders
Issue number6-7
StatePublished - 2001

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The Office of Research and Development, Medical Research Service of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and NIH Grants EY-11998 and EY-13238 support H.J.K. The Evenor Armington Fund and Muscular Dystrophy Association support F.H.A. Both authors’ research receives support from Vision Core Grant EY-113373.


  • Muscle disease
  • Nitric oxide
  • Nitric oxide synthase
  • Nitrosylation
  • Pathogenesis
  • Skeletal muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Genetics(clinical)


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