Ozone: a natural bioactive molecule with antioxidant property as potential new strategy in aging and in neurodegenerative disorders

Catia Scassellati, Antonio Carlo Galoforo, Cristian Bonvicini, Ciro Esposito, Giovanni Ricevuti

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Systems medicine is founded on a mechanism-based approach and identifies in this way specific therapeutic targets. This approach has been applied for the transcription factor nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)–like 2 (Nrf2). Nrf2 plays a central role in different pathologies including neurodegenerative disorders (NDs), which are characterized by common pathogenetic features. We here present wide scientific background indicating how a natural bioactive molecule with antioxidant/anti-apoptotic and pro-autophagy properties such as the ozone (O3) can represent a potential new strategy to delay neurodegeneration. Our hypothesis is based on different evidence demonstrating the interaction between O3 and Nrf2 system. Through a meta-analytic approach, we found a significant modulation of O3 on endogenous antioxidant-Nrf2 (p < 0.00001, Odd Ratio (OR) = 1.71 95%CI:1.17-2.25) and vitagene-Nrf2 systems (p < 0.00001, OR = 1.80 95%CI:1.05-2.55). O3 activates also immune, anti-inflammatory signalling, proteasome, releases growth factors, improves blood circulation, and has antimicrobial activity, with potential effects on gut microbiota. Thus, we provide a consistent rationale to implement future clinical studies to apply the oxygen-ozone (O2-O3) therapy in an early phase of aging decline, when it is still possible to intervene before to potentially develop a more severe neurodegenerative pathology. We suggest that O3 along with other antioxidants (polyphenols, mushrooms) implicated in the same Nrf2-mechanisms, can show neurogenic potential, providing evidence as new preventive strategies in aging and in NDs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101138
JournalAgeing Research Reviews
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • antioxidant system
  • Neurodegenerative Disorders
  • nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)–like 2 (Nrf2)
  • Oxygen-Ozone (O-O) therapy
  • Ozone (O)
  • stress oxidative biomarkers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Ageing
  • Molecular Biology
  • Neurology


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