NITRIC OXIDE AND BRAIN HYPEREXCITABILITY
- Autori: Ferraro, G.; Sardo, P.
- Anno di pubblicazione: 2004
- Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
- OA Link: http://hdl.handle.net/10447/24223
Nitric oxide (NO) is a gaseous messenger involved in atypical forms of intercellular communications, able to exert a strong functional modulation of several neurotransmitter systems. In particular, NO heavily influences the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate, mainly through NMDA receptors, and the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, mainly through GABA A receptors. Due to the involvement of glutamate and GABA in a delicate balance conditioning the functional status of the neural cells, this interaction suggests a role for NO in regulating neuronal excitability and its transition towards hyperexcitability phenomena. This article reviews the main knowledge about the relationships existing between the activity of the NO system and the experimental aspects of epilepsy, focusing on the somewhat antithetic findings about the proconvulsant or the anticonvulsant roles exerted by nitric oxide.