Nitric oxide, a gas molecule, is a unique pharmaceutical agent that can be inhaled and thus delivered directly to the lung. More than a decade of intensive laboratory and clinical investigation has culminated in the current role for inhaled NO as the only selective pulmonary vasodilator for the treatment of persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN). Not surprisingly, this potent and successful therapy continues to be studied intensively to better define its mechanism of action and role in PPHN treatment. In addition, there remains intense interest in possible new applications for newborns, as well as strategies that may enhance its efficacy. This review describes several areas of current research on amplification of NO signaling in the neonatal pulmonary vasculature, and reviews our current knowledge about the role of iNO in other conditions such as congenital diaphragmatic hernia and congenital heart disease. In addition, laboratory and clinical studies addressing a potential role for iNO as a therapeutic modality for the preterm infant are reviewed.