S-nitrosothiols (RSNOs) are important mediators of nitric oxide (NO) biology. The two mechanisms that appear to dominate in their biological effects are metabolism leading to the formation of NO and S-nitrosation of protein thiols. In this study we demonstrate that RSNOs inhibit uterine smooth muscle cell proliferation independent of NO. The antiproliferative effects of NO on vascular smooth muscle are well defined, with the classic NO-dependent production of cGMP being demonstrated as the active pathway. However, less is known on the role of NO in mediating uterine smooth muscle cell function, a process that is important during menstruation and pregnancy. The RSNOs S-nitrosoglutathione and S-nitroso-N-acetyl pencillamine inhibited growth factor-dependent proliferation of human and rat uterine smooth muscle cells (ELT-3). Interestingly, these cells reduced RSNOs to generate NO. However, use of NO donors and other activators of the cGMP pathway failed to inhibit proliferation. These findings demonstrate the tissue-specific nature of responses to NO and demonstrate the presence of a RSNO-dependent but NO-independent pathway of inhibiting DNA synthesis in uterine smooth muscle cells.