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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2016, Article ID 7364138, 20 pages
Review Article

Targeting Nitric Oxide with Natural Derived Compounds as a Therapeutic Strategy in Vascular Diseases

1IRCCS Neuromed, Vascular Physiopathology Unit, Pozzilli, Italy
2Università degli Studi di Salerno, Medicine, Surgery and Dentistry, Baronissi, Italy
3IRCCS Multimedica, Milan, Italy
4Department of Medico-Surgical Sciences and Biotechnologies, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy

Received 29 April 2016; Revised 30 July 2016; Accepted 1 August 2016

Academic Editor: Yong Ji

Copyright © 2016 Maurizio Forte et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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.