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Pure Appl. Chem., 2004, Vol. 76, No. 5, pp. 973-981

NO donors: Focus on furoxan derivatives

A. Gasco, R. Fruttero, G. Sorba, A. Di Stilo and R. Calvino

Dipartimento di Scienza e Tecnologia del Farmaco, Università degli Studi di Torino, via P. Giuria 9, I-10125 Torino, Italy; Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche, Alimentari, Farmaceutiche e Farmacologiche, Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale, via Bovio 6, I-28100 Novara, Italy

Abstract: The article focuses attention on furoxan derivatives (1,2,5 oxadiazole 2-oxides) as NO donors. Possible mechanisms for NO release from these products in physiological solution and in segments of rabbit femoral artery are briefly considered. The in vitro anti aggregatory activities and the in vitro and in vivo vasodilating properties of a number of furoxans are examined with particular reference to involvement of NO in these actions. The use of the furoxan system to design new NO donor/drug hybrids is discussed in connection with the problem of the balance between NO- and drug dependent activities of the resulting structures. Whether other biological activities (as yet, little studied) of furoxans, such as their antiparasite, antimicrobial, and antitumoral effects, are NO dependent, is a matter still to be explored.