Nitrite-induced improved blood circulation associated with an increase in a pool of RBC-NO with NO bioactivity

Academic Article


  • The reduction of nitrite by RBCs producing NO can play a role in regulating vascular tone. This hypothesis was investigated in rats by measuring the effect of nitrite infusion on mean arterial blood pressure (MAP), cerebral blood flow (CBF) and cerebrovascular resistance (CVR) in conjunction with the accumulation of RBC-NO. The nitrite infusion reversed the increase in MAP and decrease in CBF produced by L-NAME inhibition of e-NOS. At the same time there was a dramatic increase in RBC-NO. Correlations of RBC-NO for individual rats support a role for the regulation of vascular tone by this pool of NO. Furthermore, data obtained prior to treatment with L-NAME or nitrite are consistent with a contribution of RBC reduced nitrite in regulating vascular tone even under normal conditions. The role of the RBC in delivering NO to the vasculature was explained by the accumulation of a pool of bioactive NO in the RBC when nitrite is reduced by deoxygenated hemoglobin chains. A comparison of R and T state hemoglobin demonstrated a potential mechanism for the release of this NO in the T-state present at reduced oxygen pressures when blood enters the microcirculation. Coupled with enhanced hemoglobin binding to the membrane under these conditions the NO can be released to the vasculature. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Rifkind JM; Nagababu E; Cao Z; Barbiro-Michaely E; Mayevsky A
  • Start Page

  • 27
  • End Page

  • 34
  • Volume

  • 645