The Nose is Smart: Nitric Oxide Dynamics in the Airway

4 April 2015
A paper which shows the results of an experiment measuring the production, circulation, and reuptake of endogenously produced Nitric Oxide in the human upper airway.

It was hypothesized that if nitric oxide (NO) was involved in the temperature and humidity conditioning of nasal air, then its release from the nasal passages into the lumen of the upper respiratory airway should vary between inhalation and exhalation. The author of this paper further hypothesized that nasal nitric oxide release varies during wakefulness and sleep, being decreased at night due to both a reduction in nitric oxide release into the nasal passages and increased uptake of NO by the lower respiratory tract. The paper shows that through human testing and modeling, the release of NO was shown to be greater upon inhalation than exhalation. It discusses that since this is contrary to passive physics there must be an active mechanism behind this process which preserves nasal patency and conditions nasal air.
“Nitric oxide (NO) is a ubiquitous compound with important functions in the immune, nervous, and cardiopulmonary systems. In the respiratory tract it plays a role in ciliary beat frequency, mucus secretion, bronchodilation and vasodilation(1). Endogenously produced nitric oxide has been found in the exhaled air of humans and the majority of exhaled NO originates in the nasal passages(2). As a nonpolar molecule, it has a low solubility in comparison to other gases. Its Henry’s Law constant koH (mol/kg*bar) is reported to be 0.0019 by Lide and Frederikse(3). This low solubility in combination with a concentration gradient drives the NO out of the nasal mucosa and into the airway. ”

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The Nose is Smart: Nitric Oxide Dynamics in the Airway. (2015, Apr 23). Retrieved July 2, 2020, from https://newyorkessays.com/essay-the-nose-is-smart-nitric-oxide-dynamics-in-the-airway/
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