Impact of Plant-Derived Flavonoids on Neurodegenerative Diseases.Neurotox Res. 2016 07; 30(1):41-52.NR
Neurodegenerative disorders have a common characteristic that is the involvement of different cell types, typically the reactivity of astrocytes and microglia, characterizing gliosis, which in turn contributes to the neuronal dysfunction and or death. Flavonoids are secondary metabolites of plant origin widely investigated at present and represent one of the most important and diversified among natural products phenolic groups. Several biological activities are attributed to this class of polyphenols, such as antitumor activity, antioxidant, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory, among others, which give significant pharmacological importance. Our group have observed that flavonoids derived from Brazilian plants Dimorphandra mollis Bent., Croton betulaster Müll. Arg., e Poincianella pyramidalis Tul., botanical synonymous Caesalpinia pyramidalis Tul. also elicit a broad spectrum of responses in astrocytes and neurons in culture as activation of astrocytes and microglia, astrocyte associated protection of neuronal progenitor cells, neuronal differentiation and neuritogenesis. It was observed the flavonoids also induced neuronal differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells and human pluripotent stem cells. Moreover, with the objective of seeking preclinical pharmacological evidence of these molecules, in order to assess its future use in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders, we have evaluated the effects of flavonoids in preclinical in vitro models of neuroinflammation associated with Parkinson's disease and glutamate toxicity associated with ischemia. In particular, our efforts have been directed to identify mechanisms involved in the changes in viability, morphology, and glial cell function induced by flavonoids in cultures of glial cells and neuronal cells alone or in interactions and clarify the relation with their neuroprotective and morphogetic effects.