Both low-molecular-mass thiols (LMM-SH) and protein thiols (P-SH) can modulate the biological activity of S-nitrosothiols (RSNO) via S-transnitrosation reactions. It has been difficult to evaluate the entity of this effect in blood circulation by in vitro assays with isolated aorta rings so far, because media rich in proteins cannot be used due to the foaming as a consequence of the needed gas bubbling. We have modified the original apparatus for organ bioassay in order to minimize foaming and to increase analytical performance. By using this modified bioassay we investigated the vasodilatory potency of various endogenous RSNOs in the presence of physiologically relevant concentrations of albumin and LMM-SH. Our results show that the sulfhydryl group of the cysteine moiety of albumin and LMM-SH has a dramatic effect on the vasodilatory potency of RSNO. Considering the equilibrium constants for S-transnitrosation reactions and the concentration of P-SH and LMM-SH we measured in healthy humans (aged 18-85 years), we infer that the age-dependency of hematic levels of LMM-SH may have a considerable impact in RSNO-mediated vasodilation. S-Nitrosoproteins such as S-nitrosoalbumin may constitute a relatively silent and constant amount of circulating RSNO. On the other hand, LMM-SH may mediate and control the biological actions of S-nitrosoproteins via S-transnitrosation reactions, by forming more potent nitric oxide-releasing LMM-S-nitrosothiols. Lifestyle habits, status of health and individual age are proven factors that, in turn, may influence the concentration of these compounds. These aspects should be taken into consideration when testing the vasodilatory effects of RSNO in pre-clinical studies.