Role of nitric oxide in the pathophysiology of heart failure

Hunter C. Champion, Michel W. Skaf, Joshua M. Hare

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Nitric oxide (NO) plays critical roles in the regulation of integrated cardiac and vascular function and homeostasis. An understanding of the physiologic role and relative contribution of the three NO synthase isoforms (neuronal-NOS1, inducible-NOS2, and endothelial-NOS3) is imperative to comprehend derangements of the NO signaling pathway in the failing cardiovascular system. Several theories of NO and its regulation have developed as explanations for the divergent observations from studies in health and disease states. Here we review the physiologic and pathophysiologic influence of NO on cardiac function, in a framework that considers several theories of altered NO signaling in heart failure. We discuss the notion of spatial compartmentalization of NO signaling within the myocyte in an effort to reconcile many controversies about derangements in the influences of NO in the heart and vasculature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-46
Number of pages12
JournalHeart Failure Reviews
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2003


  • Heart failure
  • Myocyte
  • Nitric oxide
  • Spatial compartmentalization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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