Date Presented

Spring 4-23-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Blair

Second Advisor

Dr. Cowden

Third Advisor

Dr. Crumpton


Nitric oxide (NO) is a signaling molecule that regulates many physiological processes in the human body. Common examples of processes that NO is involved in range from immune responses to the regulation of blood pressure. In intact blood vessels, nitric oxide is constitutively released by vascular endothelial cells in order to prevent platelet adhesion and clot formation. Platelets have also been shown to release small amounts of NO as they aggregate on damaged blood vessels. Platelet-derived NO is hypothesized to play an important role in limiting the extent of clot formation. Although platelets produce nitric oxide during aggregation, it is difficult to accurately measure the concentration of nitric oxide that is released. The Griess reagent system is commonly used with other cell types and in other in vitro assays to measure NO production. Here, we used a commercially available Griess reagent kit (Cayman Chemical, Ann Arbor Michigan) to determine if the Griess reagent system could quantify nitric oxide production by aggregating platelets. Platelets were stimulated by common physiological agonists, including ADP, epinephrine, arachidonic acid, and collagen, and platelet NO production was quantified according to the manufacturer’s instructions. We found that arachidonic acid was the strongest agonist and epinephrine to be the weakest. The Cayman Chemical kit we used did not quantify nitric oxide production as we had previously hypothesized and led us to conclude that the kit should not be used for clinical purposes.