Summary

In the normal physiological state in humans, the distribution, composition, and volume of body fluids are held within relatively narrow limits, despite wide variations in the intake of water and Na+. Such homeostasis or stability of the internal environment requires a multifactoral collaboration of the hormones and other physiological processes that affect electrolyte and water metabolism. Thus, as has been reviewed in the preceding sections of this chapter, a diverse array of hormones (aldosterone, angiotensin II, renin, ANP, NO, endothelin, vasopressin, prostaglandins, and ki-nins) and signal transduction systems, each responding to different stimuli, is integrated to provide the kidney and cardiovascular system with coherent messages to effect the collective regulation of blood pres-

TABLE 15-9 Biological Actions of Nitric Oxide

System

Response

Cardiovascular Smooth muscle

Platelets Nervous Peripheral

Central

Host defense Macrophages"! Leukocytes j-Monocytes J

Initiate vasorelaxation; control of regional blood flow and blood pressure

Limitation of aggregation and adhesion

Neurotransmission (penile erection, gastric emptying)

Neurotransmission; long-term potentiation (appetite control, nociception)

Defense against bacteria, fungi, protozoans, parasites, and viruses

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