Neuroglobin is a member of the vertebrate globin family involved in cellular oxygen homeostasis. It is an intracellular hemoprotein expressed in the central and peripheral nervous system, cerebrospinal fluid, retina and endocrine tissues. Neuroglobin is a monomer that reversibly binds oxygen with an affinity higher than that of hemoglobin. It also increases oxygen availability to brain tissue and provides protection under hypoxic or ischemic conditions, potentially limiting brain damage. It is of ancient evolutionary origin, and is homologous to nerve globins of invertebrates.
Neuroglobin was first identified by Thorsten Burmester et al. in 2000. Italian researchers suggest that neuroglobin is more likely to usher in nitric oxide to protect neuron survival and recovery in areas where oxygen supply is reduced.