The ability of murine macrophage nitric oxide synthase (NOS) to utilize peroxides in place of O2 and NADPH was investigated using hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), tert-butylhydroperoxide, and cumene hydroperoxide with both L-arginine and NG-hydroxy-L-arginine (L-NHA) as substrates. Of the three peroxides examined, only H2O2 was able to support product formation using L-NHA as a substrate. No product formation was observed from L-arginine with any peroxide tested. Therefore, the L-NHA/H2O2 reaction was examined in greater detail. The products of the reaction were citrulline and nitrite/nitrate (NO2-/NO3-) with a stoichiometry of approximately 0.75:1 (citrulline to NO2-/NO3-). Product formation was greater in the presence of oxygen. Both the Km and Vmax of the reaction, determined under aerobic conditions, were affected by (6R)-tetrahydro-L-biopterin (H4B). Chemiluminescence experiments failed to detect nitric oxide (.NO) as a reaction product. However, spectral spectral experiments with L-NHA and H2O2 under anaerobic conditions demonstrated the appearance of a ferrous heme-.NO complex with a Soret peak at 440 nm and a broad single alpha/beta peak at 578 nm, which is believed to arise from single electron transfer of a ferric-NO- (nitroxyl) complex. Preliminary experiments detected nitrous oxide (N2O) formation by gas chromatography under anaerobic conditions. Stable isotope labeling experiments with [18O]H2O2 conclusively established incorporation of label exclusively into the ureido position of citrulline. Based on these results, a mechanism of oxidation of L-NHA by H2O2 is proposed.