Nitric oxide and oxygen radicals: a question of balance

FEBS Lett. 1995 Aug 7;369(2-3):131-5. doi: 10.1016/0014-5793(95)00764-z.


The production of superoxide and nitric oxide individually has been associated with the development of several diseases but only recently has it been realised that interactions between them may also be important in disease pathology. The central hypothesis which is emerging is that the balance between nitric oxide and superoxide generation is a critical determinant in the aetiology of many human diseases including atherosclerosis, neurodegenerative disease, ischaemia-reperfusion and cancer. These ideas are discussed in this short overview and placed in the context of the current and future status of therapies which could modulate the balance between nitric oxide and superoxide.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Free Radicals
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / etiology*
  • Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Nervous System Diseases / etiology*
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism*
  • Nitrogen Dioxide / metabolism
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism*
  • Superoxides / metabolism


  • Free Radicals
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Superoxides
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Nitrogen Dioxide