Nitric oxide (NO) is generated in human and animal tissues from L-arginine. Its known effects include mediation of the parasympathetic nervous system (effects of aсеtуlchоline), smooth muscle tonus, apoptosis, and tissue differentiation. The physiological effects of NO attract significant theoretical and practical interest in medicine and agriculture due to its possible regulation of physiological functions.
It is known that embryo development involves intensive NO production, but the exact role of NO in embryogenesis is not clear. Elucidation of the features of NO metabolism in the embryo and their correlation with its development is necessary for the clarification of this role. The avian embryo is a convenient object for such research, because of its relatively large size and its development outside the dam, which allows control of all stages of the development.
This article reviews the scientific information on the physiological effects of NO, current hypotheses about their mechanism, and, finally, some perspectives of practical application in poultry breeding. It also reviews of the basic results of our own research that is conducted according to the program of RAAS. It has been observed that NO metabolites contents in embryo amnion and allantois of both egg laying and meat poultry breeds are very different. The value of the difference is more than one order of magnitude, which is seen in more than 30 lines and crosses of hen, quail, turkey and ostrich. It is possible that elucidation of the mechanism of action will allow active regulation of embryo development, as well as the potential for using the indices of NO metabolites content in selection work.