Affective and anxiety disorders are widely distributed disorders with severe social and economic effects. Evidence is emphatic that effective treatment helps to restore function and quality of life. Due to the action of most modern antidepressant drugs, serotonergic mechanisms have traditionally been suggested to play major roles in the pathophysiology of mood and stress-related disorders. However, a few clinical and several pre-clinical studies, strongly suggest involvement of the nitric oxide (NO) signaling pathway in these disorders. Moreover, several of the conventional neurotransmitters, including serotonin, glutamate and GABA, are intimately regulated by NO, and distinct classes of antidepressants have been found to modulate the hippocampal NO level in vivo
. The NO system is therefore a potential target for antidepressant and anxiolytic drug action in acute therapy as well as in prophylaxis. This paper reviews the effect of drugs modulating NO synthesis in anxiety and depression.