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Special Issue "Natural Products and Neuroprotection"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Bioactives and Nutraceuticals".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Cristina Angeloni

School of Pharmacy, University of Camerino, 62032 Camerino, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: nutraceuticals, oxidative stress, neurodegeneration, cardiovascular diseases, signaling pathways
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. David Vauzour

Norwich Medical School, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7UQ, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: neurodegenerative disorders, phytochemicals, neuroinflammation, memory, learning and neuro-cognitive performances, signalling pathways, oxidative stress

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Neurodegenerative diseases are among the most serious health problems affecting millions of people worldwide, and their incidence is dramatically growing together with increased lifespan. These diseases are a heterogenous group of chronic, progressive disorders characterized by the gradual loss of neurons in the central nervous system, which leads to deficits in specific brain functions. The most common neurodegenerative diseases are Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, and Huntington's disease. These multifactorial debilitating disorders share common molecular and cellular characteristics, such as oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, protein misfolding, excitotoxicity, and inflammation. Nowadays, there are no therapeutic approaches to cure or even halt the progression of these disorders. In this context, natural products, because of their broad spectrum of pharmacological and biological activities, are considered promising alternatives for the treatment of neurodegeneration. Natural compounds have been recognized to possess different biological activities, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiapoptotic effects. Moreover, natural compounds have been recently shown to counteract protein misfolding and to modulate autophagy and proteasome activity.

In this Special Issue, we invite investigators to contribute original research articles, as well as review articles regarding the biological effect of natural products in preventing/counteracting neurodegeneration.

Topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Clinical or preclinical studies investigating natural products in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases
  • The role of natural products in counteracting oxidative stress in neurodegeneration
  • The role of natural products in counteracting inflammation in neurodegeneration
  • The use of natural products in modulating autophagy and proteasome activity to counteract abnormal protein aggregation in neurodegeneration
  • The role of natural products in modulating signaling pathways involved in neurodegeneration
  • The use of natural products as lead compounds in drug discovery for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases

Prof. Dr. Cristina Angeloni
Prof. Dr. David Vauzour
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • oxidative stress
  • inflammation
  • protein misfolding
  • natural compounds
  • nutraceuticals
  • phytochemicals
  • neurodegeneration
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • multiple sclerosis
  • Huntington's disease

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Centella asiatica Protects d-Galactose/AlCl3 Mediated Alzheimer’s Disease-Like Rats via PP2A/GSK-3β Signaling Pathway in Their Hippocampus
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(8), 1871; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20081871
Received: 23 February 2019 / Revised: 2 March 2019 / Accepted: 5 March 2019 / Published: 16 April 2019
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Abstract
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder more prevalent among the elderly population. AD is characterised clinically by a progressive decline in cognitive functions and pathologically by the presence of neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs), deposition of beta-amyloid (Aβ) plaque and synaptic dysfunction in [...] Read more.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder more prevalent among the elderly population. AD is characterised clinically by a progressive decline in cognitive functions and pathologically by the presence of neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs), deposition of beta-amyloid (Aβ) plaque and synaptic dysfunction in the brain. Centella asiatica (CA) is a valuable herb being used widely in African, Ayurvedic, and Chinese traditional medicine to reverse cognitive impairment and to enhance cognitive functions. This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of CA in preventing d-galactose/aluminium chloride (d-gal/AlCl3) induced AD-like pathologies and the underlying mechanisms of action were further investigated for the first time. Results showed that co-administration of CA to d-gal/AlCl3 induced AD-like rat models significantly increased the levels of protein phosphatase 2 (PP2A) and decreased the levels of glycogen synthase kinase-3 beta (GSK-3β). It was further observed that, CA increased the expression of mRNA of Bcl-2, while there was minimal effect on the expression of caspase 3 mRNA. The results also showed that, CA prevented morphological aberrations in the connus ammonis 3 (CA 3) sub-region of the rat’s hippocampus. The results clearly demonstrated for the first time that CA could alleviate d-gal/AlCl3 induced AD-like pathologies in rats via inhibition of hyperphosphorylated tau (P-tau) bio-synthetic proteins, anti-apoptosis and maintenance of cytoarchitecture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Neuroprotection)
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Open AccessArticle Neuroprotective Effects of Thymol, a Dietary Monoterpene Against Dopaminergic Neurodegeneration in Rotenone-Induced Rat Model of Parkinson’s Disease
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(7), 1538; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20071538
Received: 25 February 2019 / Revised: 16 March 2019 / Accepted: 18 March 2019 / Published: 27 March 2019
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Abstract
Parkinson’s disease (PD), a multifactorial movement disorder that involves progressive degeneration of the nigrostriatal system affecting the movement ability of the patient. Oxidative stress and neuroinflammation both are shown to be involved in the etiopathogenesis of PD. The aim of this study was [...] Read more.
Parkinson’s disease (PD), a multifactorial movement disorder that involves progressive degeneration of the nigrostriatal system affecting the movement ability of the patient. Oxidative stress and neuroinflammation both are shown to be involved in the etiopathogenesis of PD. The aim of this study was to evaluate the therapeutic potential of thymol, a dietary monoterpene phenol in rotenone (ROT)-induced neurodegeneration in rats that precisely mimics PD in humans. Male Wistar rats were injected ROT at a dose of 2.5 mg/kg body weight for 4 weeks, to induce PD. Thymol was co-administered for 4 weeks at a dose of 50 mg/kg body weight, 30 min prior to ROT injection. The markers of dopaminergic neurodegeneration, oxidative stress and inflammation were estimated using biochemical assays, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, western blotting and immunocytochemistry. ROT challenge increased the oxidative stress markers, inflammatory enzymes and cytokines as well as caused significant damage to nigrostriatal dopaminergic system of the brain. Thymol treatment in ROT challenged rats appears to significantly attenuate dopaminergic neuronal loss, oxidative stress and inflammation. The present study showed protective effects of thymol in ROT-induced neurotoxicity and neurodegeneration mediated by preservation of endogenous antioxidant defense networks and attenuation of inflammatory mediators including cytokines and enzymes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Neuroprotection)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Considerations for the Use of Polyphenols as Therapies in Neurodegenerative Diseases
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(8), 1883; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20081883
Received: 19 March 2019 / Revised: 4 April 2019 / Accepted: 12 April 2019 / Published: 16 April 2019
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Abstract
Over the last two decades, the increase in the incidence of neurodegenerative diseases due to the increasingly ageing population has resulted in a major social and economic burden. At present, a large body of literature supports the potential use of functional nutrients, which [...] Read more.
Over the last two decades, the increase in the incidence of neurodegenerative diseases due to the increasingly ageing population has resulted in a major social and economic burden. At present, a large body of literature supports the potential use of functional nutrients, which exhibit potential neuroprotective properties to mitigate these diseases. Among the most studied dietary molecules, polyphenols stand out because of their multiple and often overlapping reported modes of action. However, ambiguity still exists as to the significance of their influence on human health. This review discusses the characteristics and functions of polyphenols that shape their potential therapeutic actions in neurodegenerative diseases while the less-explored gaps in knowledge of these nutrients will also be highlighted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Neuroprotection)
Open AccessReview Effectiveness of Vitamin D Supplementation in the Management of Multiple Sclerosis: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(6), 1301; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20061301
Received: 5 January 2019 / Revised: 25 February 2019 / Accepted: 5 March 2019 / Published: 14 March 2019
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Abstract
Objective: to examine the extent of effect vitamin D in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) on pathology and symptoms. Methods: A literature search was performed in November 2018 (CRD42018103615). Eligibility criteria: randomised control trials in English from 2012 to 2018; a clinical diagnosis of MS; [...] Read more.
Objective: to examine the extent of effect vitamin D in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) on pathology and symptoms. Methods: A literature search was performed in November 2018 (CRD42018103615). Eligibility criteria: randomised control trials in English from 2012 to 2018; a clinical diagnosis of MS; interventions containing vitamin D supplementation (vitamin D3 or calcitriol) in disease activity compared to a control/placebo; improvement in: serum 25(OH)D, relapse rates, disability status by Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) scores, cytokine profile, quality of life, mobility, T2 lesion load and new T2 or T1 Gd enhancing lesions, safety and adverse effects. Risk of bias was evaluated. Results: Ten studies were selected. The study size ranged from 40 to 94 people. All studies evaluated the use of vitamin D supplementation (ranging from 10 to 98,000 IU), comparing to a placebo or low dose vitamin D. The duration of the intervention ranged from 12 to 96 weeks. One trial found a significant effect on EDSS score, three demonstrated a significant change in serum cytokines level, one found benefits to current enhancing lesions and three studies evaluating the safety and tolerability of vitamin D reported no serious adverse events. Disease measures improved to a greater extent overall in those with lower baseline serum 25(OH)D levels. Conclusions: As shown in 3 out of 10 studies, improvement in disease measures may be more apparent in those with lower baseline vitamin D levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products and Neuroprotection)
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Int. J. Mol. Sci. EISSN 1422-0067 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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