Insulin secretion: The nitric oxide controversy


  • Sevda Gheibi Department of Clinical Sciences in Malmö, Unit of Molecular Metabolism, Lund University Diabetes Centre, Clinical Research Center, Malmö University Hospital, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden
  • Asghar Ghasemi Endocrine Physiology Research Center, Research Institute for Endocrine Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, No. 24, Parvaneh Street, Velenjak, P.O. Box: 19395-4763, Tehran, Iran. E-mail:



Nitric oxide, insulin secretion, insulin synthesis


Nitric oxide (NO) is a gas that serves as a ubiquitous signaling molecule participating in physiological activities of various organ systems. Nitric oxide is produced in the endocrine pancreas and contributes to synthesis and secretion of insulin. The potential role of NO in insulin secretion is disputable – both stimulatory and inhibitory effects have been reported. Available data indicate that effects of NO critically depend on its concentration. Different isoforms of NO synthase (NOS) control this and have the potential to decrease or increase insulin secretion. In this review, the role of NO in insulin secretion as well as the possible reasons for discrepant findings are discussed. A better understanding of the role of NO system in the regulation of insulin secretion may facilitate the development of new therapeutic strategies in the management of diabetes.



How to Cite

Gheibi, S., & Ghasemi, A. (2020). Insulin secretion: The nitric oxide controversy . EXCLI Journal, 19, 1227–1245.



Review articles