About this Research Topic
Gasotransmitters are gaseous signaling molecules, endogenously produced through specific intracellular enzymatic pathways and extensively involved in several physiological and pathological processes, by both paracrine and autocrine mechanisms. Among these unusual signaling molecules, nitric oxide (NO), carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) represent the leader and most studied members, even if other endogenously synthesized gases, such as ammonia and sulfur dioxide, are currently under investigation for their potential enrollment in this category.
The epochal interest in endogenous gasotransmitters arose from the discovery of the capital involvement of NO in the regulation of vascular tone. Starting from this pillar, exponential scientific literature has followed, gaining knowledge concerning physiological, pathological and therapeutic implications of these molecules in the cardiovascular system.
One of the most unsolved issue in the cardiovascular research field, especially boosted during the Covid-19 pandemic, is represented by the detrimental progression of endothelial dysfunction toward severe cardiovascular and, more broadly, systemic disorders. In this context, nitric oxide, carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide, and their related pathways, could represent key elements of protective strategies planned to counteract cardiovascular diseases, such as hypertension, atherosclerosis, hypercoagulation and diabetic vascular complications.
Deeper investigations on the molecular mechanisms belonging to gasotransmitter-activated machineries could thus shed light to novel therapeutic approach aimed at preserving and restoring endothelial health.
Keywords: Nitric Oxide, Hydrogen Sulfide, Carbon Monoxide, endothelial cells, cardiomyocytes, vascular smooth muscle, vascular tone, endothelial dysfunction, angiogenesis, vascular remodelling, ischemia-reperfusion injury, cardiac contractility, ion channels, vasculogenesis
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