Nitric Oxide Balance in Health and Diseases: Implications for New Treatment Strategies

Musbau A. Akanji1, Anne A. Adeyanju2, Damilare Rotimi3, Oluyomi S. Adeyemi3, *
1 Department of Biochemistry, University of Ilorin, PMB 1515, Ilorin, Nigeria
2 Department of Biological Sciences, Kola Daisi University, Ibadan, PMB 84, Oyo State, Nigeria
3 Department of Biochemistry, Medicinal Biochemistry, Nanomedicine & Toxicology Laboratory, Landmark University, PMB 1001, Omu-Aran - 251101, Nigeria

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© 2020 Akanji et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Biochemistry, The Medicinal Biochemistry, Nanomedicine & Toxicology Laboratory, Landmark University, PMB 1001, Omu-Aran - 251101, Nigeria; Tel: +234 7034 50 7902; E-mail:


Nitric Oxide (NO) is an essential signaling molecule with diverse physiological functions in humans. The steady-state concentration and site of production of nitric oxide determine its effects in biological systems. The human cells are exposed to both beneficial and harmful effects of NO. These dual effects of NO could depend on its local concentration in the cells. Additionally, the rate of synthesis, translocation, direct interaction with other molecules, and signals contribute to the biochemical and physiological effects of NO. In this review, the biochemical and physiological role of NO, particularly in health and disease as touching on cell signaling, oxidative stress, immunity, as well as cardiovascular protection amongst others, is focused on. Therefore, this review objectively discusses the dual functionality of NO in living cells.

Keywords: Nitric oxide, Cellular signaling, Oxidative stress, Vasoactive substances, Vasoconstriction, Vasodilation.