Effects of nitric oxide (WP1995)

Homo sapiens

NO (Nitric oxide) is an important signalling molecule with vasodilatory and anti-inflammatory effects, indicating a postive role in reducing hypertension and cardiovascular disease. At the same time, NO is also associated with health risks such as increased risk in carcinogenesis, and hypoxia in infants. It has been suggested that NO can also increase mitochondrial efficiency. NO can be formed from L-Arginine through the classic Arginine-NO-Synthase pathway, or it can be formed directly from dietary nitrite by deoxiginated globins.


Martijn Van Iersel , Alex Pico , Martina Summer-Kutmon , and Eric Weitz


last edited

Discuss this pathway

Check for ongoing discussions or start your own.

Cited In

Are you planning to include this pathway in your next publication? See How to Cite and add a link here to your paper once it's online.


Homo sapiens




Pathway Ontology

cardiovascular system homeostasis pathway


Label Type Compact URI Comment
Nitric oxide Metabolite hmdb:HMDB0003378
Nitrate Metabolite hmdb:HMDB0002878
Citrulline Metabolite hmdb:HMDB0000904
VItamin C Metabolite hmdb:HMDB0000044
Nitrite Metabolite hmdb:HMDB0002786
L-Arginine Metabolite hmdb:HMDB0000517
Oxygen Metabolite hmdb:HMDB0001377
NOS3 (endothelial) GeneProduct ncbigene:4846
Deoxy-hemoglobin GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000206172
Deoxy-myoglobin GeneProduct ncbigene:4151
NOS1 (neuronal) GeneProduct ncbigene:4842
COX1 GeneProduct ncbigene:4512
NOS2 (inducible) GeneProduct ncbigene:4843
XDH GeneProduct ensembl:ENSG00000158125
AOX1 Protein ensembl:ENSG00000138356


  1. Food sources of nitrates and nitrites: the physiologic context for potential health benefits. Hord NG, Tang Y, Bryan NS. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jul;90(1):1–10. PubMed Europe PMC Scholia
  2. Nitrate and nitrite in biology, nutrition and therapeutics. Lundberg JO, Gladwin MT, Ahluwalia A, Benjamin N, Bryan NS, Butler A, et al. Nat Chem Biol. 2009 Dec;5(12):865–9. PubMed Europe PMC Scholia
  3. Dietary inorganic nitrate improves mitochondrial efficiency in humans. Larsen FJ, Schiffer TA, Borniquel S, Sahlin K, Ekblom B, Lundberg JO, et al. Cell Metab. 2011 Feb 2;13(2):149–59. PubMed Europe PMC Scholia