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J Toxicol. 2011;2011:405194. doi: 10.1155/2011/405194. Epub 2011 May 31.

Protective Action of Neurotrophic Factors and Estrogen against Oxidative Stress-Mediated Neurodegeneration.

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  • 1Department of Mental Disorder Research, National Institute of Neuroscience, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Tokyo 187-8502, Japan.


Oxidative stress is involved in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and Huntington's disease. Low levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) are important for maintenance of neuronal function, though elevated levels lead to neuronal cell death. A complex series of events including excitotoxicity, Ca(2+) overload, and mitochondrial dysfunction contributes to oxidative stress-mediated neurodegeneration. As expected, many antioxidants like phytochemicals and vitamins are known to reduce oxidative toxicity. Additionally, growing evidence indicates that neurotrophic factors such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and estrogens significantly prevent neuronal damage caused by oxidative stress. Here, we review and discuss recent studies addressing the protective mechanisms of neurotrophic factors and estrogen within this system.

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