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Asthma and nitric oxide - Essay Example

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Nitric oxide (NO), once generally viewed only as hazardous to humans, has now become new promising means of identifying and treating respiratory diseases such as asthma. Several studies have indicated the usefulness of nitric oxide monitoring in managing asthmatic patients particularly children…
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Asthma and nitric oxide
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Download file to see previous pages The European Respiratory Society has indicated its conviction in the method that it has already published guidelines to standardize analysis, diagnosis and reference levels in using nitric oxide as part of respiratory treatment (Buchwald, 2005). In the United States alone, 6% those aged below 12 have been diagnosed with asthma and as high as 40% in urban areas. This reflects a 75% from data gather in the 1980's a trend that is reflected globally (World Health Organization [WHO], 2005).
Nitric oxide is a highly reactive, prevalent gas in human chemical activity. It can be found in neurons as n NOS or NOS1, in macrophages as iNOS or NOS-2, and in endothelial cells as eNOS or NOS-3 (Bor-Kucukatay, 2005). Nitric oxide is cellularly synthesized by the enzyme nitric oxide sythases denoted by NOS from arginine, molecular oxygen and NADPH. Nitric oxide interacts rapidly molecularly and disperses through cell membranes acting in a paracinic or autocrinic behavior1.
Endogenous nitric oxide is a product of L-argining amino acid and NOS. All three isofrms, NOS or NOS1, iNOS or NOS-2, eNOS or NOS-3 are found in the respiratory tract functioning a part in vascular and airway smooth muscle tone, inflammatory respiratory response, ciliary action and in eliminating bacteria, viruses and mycobacteria in the respiratory tracts (Smith et al, 2004).
Through connecting throu...
Mechanism and Metabolism
Through connecting through a metal ion in the cell's protein or through cystine or other S atoms, nitric oxide causes allosteric change in the cell's protein. An example of this reaction is nitric oxide directed at the protein guanylyl cyclase which then creates the second messenger cyclic GMP (cGMP).
The body produces oar manufactures nitric oxide to fight bacteria. TH 1cells as part of inflammatory response mechanisms secrete nitric oxide to attach bacterial macrophages or by the production of nitric oxide by through the conversion of nitrates found in food into nitrites (Maddox & Schwartz, 2002).
Reaction with super oxide anions the result to the formation peroxynitrite2 (ONOO-) which can lead to break up of DNA and oxidation action in lipids. This can lead to nitric oxide toxicity. Peroxynitrite causes mitochondrial respiratory chain (I-IV) and manganese super oxide dismutase (MnSOD) to generate suroxide anions and hydrogen peroxide, both of which can cause fatal cell damage ("Nitric Oxide Metabolism", 2006). Figure 1 illustrates nitric oxide actions in the body.
Functions
Nitric oxide serves various functions in the human body. It can act as a catalyst for reactions to microbial attacks, as a messenger or inhibitor among others. It functions significantly in the circulatory and nervous system influencing blood flow, oxygenation of red blood cell and neural messaging (Maddox & Schwartz, 2002). The following are the functions of nitric oxide physiologically ("Nitric Oxide", 2006):
Blood Flow
Diffusion of nitric oxide into smooth muscle cells allowing for the efficient flow of blood as endothelial cells release nitric oxide at every systole ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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