Nitric oxide: A neural messenger

Samie R. Jaffrey, Solomon H. Snyder

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Nitric oxide (NO) is a messenger molecule that is now a well established neurotransmitter in the central and peripheral nervous systems. NO was initally characterized as the 'endothelium-derived relaxation factor' and subsequently found to mediate the elevation in cGMP following glutamatergic stimulation in the nervous system. Pharmacological and immunohistochemical data suggest numerous roles for NO throughout the body. NO knockout mice have demonstrated that NO is essential in behavioral and autonomic function. NO also appears to have neurotoxic and neuroprotective effects and may have a role in the pathogenesis of stroke and other neurodegenerative disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)417-440
Number of pages24
JournalAnnual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology
StatePublished - 1995


  • carbon monoxide
  • cyclic GMP
  • glutamate
  • neurotoxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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