Insights into the effect of nitric oxide and its metabolites nitrite and nitrate at inhibiting neointimal hyperplasia

Ashley K. Vavra, George E. Havelka, Janet Martinez, Vanessa R. Lee, Bo Fu, Qun Jiang, Larry K. Keefer, Melina R. Kibbe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Objective: Periadventitial delivery of the nitric oxide (NO) donor PROLI/NO following arterial injury effectively inhibits neointimal hyperplasia. Given the short half-life of NO release from PROLI/NO, our goal was to determine if inhibition of neointimal hyperplasia by PROLI/NO was due to NO, or its metabolites nitrite and nitrate. Methods and results: In vitro, the NO donor DETA/NO inhibited proliferation of rat aortic vascular smooth muscle cells (RASMC), but neither nitrite nor nitrate did. In vivo, following rat carotid artery balloon injury or injury plus the molar equivalents of PROLI/NO, nitrite, or nitrate (n = 8-11/group), PROLI/NO was found to provide superior inhibition of neointimal hyperplasia (82% inhibition of intimal area, and 44% inhibition of medial area, p < 0.001). Only modest inhibition was noted with nitrite or nitrate (45% and 41% inhibition of intimal area, and 31% and 29% inhibition of medial area, respectively, p < 0.001). No effects on blood pressure were noted with any treatment groups. In vivo, only PROLI/NO inhibited cellular proliferation and increased arterial lumen area compared to injury alone (p < 0.001). However, all three treatments inhibited inflammation (p < 0.001). Conclusions: PROLI/NO was more effective at inhibiting neointimal hyperplasia following arterial injury than nitrite or nitrate. However, modest inhibition of neointimal hyperplasia was observed with nitrite and nitrate, likely secondary to anti-inflammatory actions. In conclusion, we have demonstrated that the efficacy of NO donors is primarily due to NO production and not its metabolites, nitrite and nitrate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-30
Number of pages9
JournalNitric Oxide - Biology and Chemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 30 2011


  • Neointimal hyperplasia
  • Nitric oxide
  • Nitrite/nitrate
  • Peripheral vascular disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Cancer Research
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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