Within the family of endogenous gasotransmitters, nitric oxide (NO) is the smallest gaseous intercellular messenger involved in the modulation of several processes, such as blood flow and platelet aggregation control, essential to maintain vascular homeostasis. NO is produced by nitric oxide synthases (NOS) and its effects are mediated by cGMP-dependent or cGMP-independent mechanisms. Growing evidence suggests a crosstalk between the NO signaling and the occurrence of oxidative stress in the onset and progression of vascular diseases, such as hypertension, heart failure, ischemia, and stroke. For these reasons, NO is considered as an emerging molecular target for developing therapeutic strategies for cardio- and cerebrovascular pathologies. Several natural derived compounds, such as polyphenols, are now proposed as modulators of NO-mediated pathways. The aim of this review is to highlight the experimental evidence on the involvement of nitric oxide in vascular homeostasis focusing on the therapeutic potential of targeting NO with some natural compounds in patients with vascular diseases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology