Endothelium-derived relaxing factor

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Endothelium-derived relaxing factor (EDRF) is produced and released by the endothelium to promote smooth muscle relaxation. The best-characterized is nitric oxide (NO). Some sources equate EDRF and nitric oxide.[1]

It is released in response to a variety of chemical and physical stimuli. It causes the smooth muscle in the vessel wall to relax.

EDRF was discovered and characterized by Robert F. Furchgott, a winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1998 with his co-researchers Louis J. Ignarro and Ferid Murad.

According to Furchgott's website at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, "...we are investigating whether the endothelium-derived relaxing factor (EDRF) is simply nitric oxide or a mixture of substances".[2]

Although there is strong evidence that nitric oxide elicits vasodilation, there is some evidence tying this effect to neuronal rather than endothelial reactions.[3]


  1. ^ "endothelial-derived relaxing factor" at Dorland's Medical Dictionary
  2. ^ "Robert Furchgott". Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  3. ^ Chowdhary S, Townend JN (April 2001). "Nitric oxide and hypertension: not just an endothelium derived relaxing factor!". J Hum Hypertens 15 (4): 219–27. doi:10.1038/sj.jhh.1001165. PMID 11319669.