Exogenous dinitrosyl iron complexes (DNIC) with thiol-containing ligands as NO and NO+ donors are capable of exerting both regulatory and cytotoxic effects on diverse biological processes similarly to those characteristic of endogenous nitric oxide. Regulatory activity of DNIC (vasodilation, hypotension, trombosis suppression, red blood cell elasticity increasing, skin wound healing acceleration, penile erection inducing, etc) is determined by their capacity of NO and NO+ transfer to biological targets of the latter (hemo- and thiol-containing proteins, respectively) due to higher affinity of the proteins for NO and NO+ than that of DNIC. Cytotoxic activity of DNIC is endowed with rapid DNIC decomposition under action of iron-chelating compounds resulting in appearance of NO and NO+ in cells and tissues in high amount. The latter mechanism is suggested to cause the blocking effect of DNIC as cytotoxic effectors on the development of benign endometrial tumors in rats with experimental endometriosis. It is also proposed that. a similar mechanism can operate causing at least a delay of malignant tumor proliferation under action of DNIC.
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