INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF DERMATOLOGY, vol.40, no.11, pp.704-708, 2001 (SCI-Expanded)
Background Nitric oxide (NO) is an inorganic free radical gas which has cytostatic/cytotoxic actions in tumoral tissues, including gynecologic, breast, and colon cancer. Nitric oxide is also a multifunctional signaling molecule active in many cells of the body, including endothelial cells, macrophages, monocytes, hepatocytes, mast cells, osteoblasts, and astrocytes. Endothelin-1 (ET-1) is a 21-amino acid peptide that stimulates the proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells, fibroblasts, and keratinocytes, and plays a role in the expression of proto-oncogenes (c-myc, c-fos), which precedes cell proliferation. Similar to NO, ET is secreted by different cell types, including macrophages, monocytes, hepatocytes, endothelial cells, vascular smooth muscle cells, and various tumor cells. Elevated ET-1 levels are observed in pulmonary, hepatocellular, and prostate cancers. Actinic keratosis (AK) and basal cell carcinoma (BCC) are common skin tumors with accentuated hyperkeratinization, hyperpigmentation, and keratinocyte proliferation.