Therapeutic relevance of ozone therapy in degenerative diseases: Focus on diabetes and spinal pain

J Cell Physiol. 2018 Apr;233(4):2705-2714. doi: 10.1002/jcp.26044. Epub 2017 Jul 11.


Ozone, one of the most important air pollutants, is a triatomic molecule containing three atoms of oxygen that results in an unstable form due to its mesomeric structure. It has been well-known that ozone has potent ability to oxidize organic compounds and can induce respiratory irritation. Although ozone has deleterious effects, many therapeutic effects have also been suggested. Since last few decades, the therapeutic potential of ozone has gained much attention through its strong capacity to induce controlled and moderated oxidative stress when administered in precise therapeutic doses. A plethora of scientific evidence showed that the activation of hypoxia inducible factor-1α (HIF-1a), nuclear factor of activated T-cells (NFAT), nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor 2-antioxidant response element (Nrf2-ARE), and activated protein-1 (AP-1) pathways are the main molecular mechanisms underlying the therapeutic effects of ozone therapy. Activation of these molecular pathways leads to up-regulation of endogenous antioxidant systems, activation of immune functions as well as suppression of inflammatory processes, which is important for correcting oxidative stress in diabetes and spinal pain. The present study intended to review critically the available scientific evidence concerning the beneficial properties of ozone therapy for treatment of diabetic complications and spinal pain. It finds benefit for integrating the therapy with ozone into pharmacological procedures, instead of a substitutive or additional option to therapy.

Keywords: diabetes; oxidative stress; ozone; spinal pain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Diabetes Mellitus / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Ozone / pharmacology
  • Ozone / therapeutic use*
  • Pain Management*
  • Spinal Cord Diseases / therapy*


  • Ozone