NO gas formation and mitochondrial function.
Due to stress load, the cells of the body produce NO gas (nitric oxide). For the discovery of NO gas formation, the Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded in 1998! Until 1970, the physiological NO gas effect in the human organism was unknown. Nitric oxide causes improved blood flow in the body through vasodilatation.
Likewise, NO gas is the first-line defense of the immune system and is produced to defend against intracellular infections, such as viruses, fungi and parasites. In the case of an acute viral infection or chronic inflammation, an acute or a chronic NO gas war takes place in the organism, respectively! The uncontrolled NO gas production leads to interactions in the cell, which in the end irreversibly block the function of the mitochondria.
In addition, nitrosative stress occurs, i.e. the formation of oxygen radicals O-, which react with NO gas and form extremely reactive ONOO-. Its far more aggressive metabolite peroxinitrite triggers a biochemical vicious circle, which Prof. Martin Pall (Washington State University, Institute of Molecular Biology) calls the NO/ONOO cycle. This causes permanent damage to the cell and mitochondrial membranes and genes.