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An anti-inflammatory glucocorticoid. Inhibits the expression of the inducible but not the constitutive nitric oxide synthase in vascular endothelial cells (IC50 = 5 nM). Enhances active cation transport in aortic smooth muscle cells by stimulating the Na+-K+ pump. Has anti-inflammatory and anti-rheumatic properties. Induces apoptosis in human thymocytes. In general, 500-1000 nM of dexamethasone is sufficient to induce apoptosis following a 6-hour incubation at 37 °C