Nitric Oxide Donors: A Continuing Opportunity in Drug Design

Stephen R. Hanson, Thomas C. Hutsell, Larry K. Keefer, Daniel L. Mooradian, Daniel J. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


This chapter illustrates the advantageous, much unique, chemical, and pharmacological properties of nitric oxide (NO) donor compound class by showing how the accumulating knowledge are used in this area in attempting to design solutions to two clinical problems for which adequate pharmacological strategies do not currently exist. These are restenosis following angioplasty and other mechanical interventional procedures for vascular repair and the failure of small-caliber synthetic vascular grafts used to replace obstructed arteries. The chapter attempts to show how the versatility of compounds containing the N2O2 functional group might be harnessed to solve important clinical problems. As such, agents releases NO at a first-order rate with a half-life of approximately one day in physiological buffer, these compounds can be conveniently used to inhibit vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation in culture completely for a prolonged period with no detectable toxic effect. As the half-life of NO release from such agents generally increases with pH, this is used to design an infusion device in which a homolog with a half-life of 1 min at pH 7.4 could be stabilized in a slightly alkaline reservoir and continuously neutralized 1 min before delivery as an NO-rich solution into the bloodstream to inhibit platelet deposition at an otherwise thrombogenic site. Finally, by incorporating the N2O2 functional group into a polymeric matrix, an NO point source has been prepared that, when used as a coating for commercial vascular implants, greatly reduced thrombogenicity in a preliminary experiment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)383-398
Number of pages16
JournalAdvances in Pharmacology
Issue numberC
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by National Institutes of Health grants HL-48667 and HL-31469 to Emory University.


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