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Special Issue "Neurobiology and Molecular Research of Nutraceuticals in Neurodegenerative Disorders"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (29 February 2020) | Viewed by 8499

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Francesco Fornai
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Translational Research and New Technologies in Medicine and Surgery, University of Pisa, 56124 Pisa, Italy
Interests: neuroanatomy; neuroscience; neurodegeneration; methamphetamine; autophagy; movement disorders; substances of abuse; morphology; ultrastructure
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The term “nutraceuticals” refers to products of natural origin, which are used for the prevention or treatment of a variety of diseases. Owing to their beneficial effects, nutraceuticals such as polyphenols have gained increasing importance in the context of neurodegenerative disorders. The advantage of herbal products such as curcumin, resveratrol, ashwagandha, and green tea stems from their naturally mild but multiple potentialities to target those molecular pathways, which operate during neurotoxicity and neurodegeneration. These encompass oxidative stress, mitochondrial and cell-clearing systems dysfunctions, protein aggregation, and prion-like spreading, as well as neuroinflammation. Thus, nutraceuticals are promising candidates for preventing and slowing down progression of neuronal damage in a plethora of brain disorders, such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Huntington’s diseases, Multiple sclerosis, and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Nonetheless, further studies in different experimental settings are mandatory to elucidate the neurobiological and molecular mechanisms of action of single and combined nutraceuticals, as well as to develop strategies aimed at potentiating their bioavailability in human cells.

In this Special Issue, we welcome experts to contribute research papers and critical reviews on neurobiology and molecular research of nutraceuticals in neurodegenerative disorders.

Prof. Dr. Francesco Fornai
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • polyphenols
  • free radicals
  • mitochondria
  • neuroinflammation
  • neurotoxicity
  • neurodegenerative disorders
  • autophagy
  • proteasome
  • prionoids
  • proteinopathies

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Review

Review
Potential Benefits of Nobiletin, A Citrus Flavonoid, against Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(14), 3380; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20143380 - 10 Jul 2019
Cited by 57 | Viewed by 4745
Abstract
Alzheimer’s disease (AD), which is characterized by the presence of amyloid-β (Aβ) plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, accompanied by neurodegeneration, is the most common form of age-related neurodegenerative disease. Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after AD, and is characterized [...] Read more.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD), which is characterized by the presence of amyloid-β (Aβ) plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, accompanied by neurodegeneration, is the most common form of age-related neurodegenerative disease. Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after AD, and is characterized by early prominent loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta. As currently available treatments are not able to significantly alter the progression of these diseases, successful therapeutic and preventive interventions are strongly needed. In the course of our survey of substances from natural resources having anti-dementia and neuroprotective activity, we found nobiletin, a polymethoxylated flavone from the peel of Citrus depressa. Nobiletin improved cognitive deficits and the pathological features of AD, such as Aβ pathology, hyperphosphorylation of tau, and oxidative stress, in animal models of AD. In addition, nobiletin improved motor and cognitive deficits in PD animal models. These observations suggest that nobiletin has the potential to become a novel drug for the treatment and prevention of neurodegenerative diseases such as AD and PD. Full article
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Review
Phytochemicals Bridging Autophagy Induction and Alpha-Synuclein Degradation in Parkinsonism
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(13), 3274; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20133274 - 03 Jul 2019
Cited by 36 | Viewed by 3478
Abstract
Among nutraceuticals, phytochemical-rich compounds represent a source of naturally-derived bioactive principles, which are extensively studied for potential beneficial effects in a variety of disorders ranging from cardiovascular and metabolic diseases to cancer and neurodegeneration. In the brain, phytochemicals produce a number of biological [...] Read more.
Among nutraceuticals, phytochemical-rich compounds represent a source of naturally-derived bioactive principles, which are extensively studied for potential beneficial effects in a variety of disorders ranging from cardiovascular and metabolic diseases to cancer and neurodegeneration. In the brain, phytochemicals produce a number of biological effects such as modulation of neurotransmitter activity, growth factor induction, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity, stem cell modulation/neurogenesis, regulation of mitochondrial homeostasis, and counteracting protein aggregation through modulation of protein-folding chaperones and the cell clearing systems autophagy and proteasome. In particular, the ability of phytochemicals in restoring proteostasis through autophagy induction took center stage in recent research on neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease (PD). Indeed, autophagy dysfunctions and α-syn aggregation represent two interdependent downstream biochemical events, which concur in the parkinsonian brain, and which are targeted by phytochemicals administration. Therefore, in the present review we discuss evidence about the autophagy-based neuroprotective effects of specific phytochemical-rich plants in experimental parkinsonism, with a special focus on their ability to counteract alpha-synuclein aggregation and toxicity. Although further studies are needed to confirm the autophagy-based effects of some phytochemicals in parkinsonism, the evidence discussed here suggests that rescuing autophagy through natural compounds may play a role in preserving dopamine (DA) neuron integrity by counteracting the aggregation, toxicity, and prion-like spreading of α-syn, which remains a hallmark of PD. Full article
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