Chinese Herbal Medicine Interventions in Neurological Disorder Therapeutics by Regulating Glutamate Signaling

Author(s): Yan Liu, Shan Wang, Jun Kan, Jingzhi Zhang, Lisa Zhou, Yuli Huang*, Yunlong Zhang*

Journal Name: Current Neuropharmacology

Volume 18 , Issue 4 , 2020

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Graphical Abstract:


Glutamate is the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system, and its signaling is critical for excitatory synaptic transmission. The well-established glutamate system involves glutamate synthesis, presynaptic glutamate release, glutamate actions on the ionotropic glutamate receptors (NMDA, AMPA, and kainate receptors) and metabotropic glutamate receptors, and glutamate uptake by glutamate transporters. When the glutamate system becomes dysfunctional, it contributes to the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, depression, epilepsy, and ischemic stroke. In this review, based on regulating glutamate signaling, we summarize the effects and underlying mechanisms of natural constituents from Chinese herbal medicines on neurological disorders. Natural constituents from Chinese herbal medicine can prevent the glutamate-mediated excitotoxicity via suppressing presynaptic glutamate release, decreasing ionotropic and metabotropic glutamate receptors expression in the excitatory synapse, and promoting astroglial glutamate transporter expression to increase glutamate clearance from the synaptic cleft. However, some natural constituents from Chinese herbal medicine have the ability to restore the collapse of excitatory synapses by promoting presynaptic glutamate release and increasing ionotropic and metabotropic glutamate receptors expression. These regulatory processes involve various signaling pathways, which lead to different mechanistic routes of protection against neurological disorders. Hence, our review addresses the underlying mechanisms of natural constituents from Chinese herbal medicines that regulate glutamate systems and serve as promising agents for the treatment of the above-mentioned neurological disorders.

Keywords: Neurological disorders, natural constituents, chinese herbal medicine, glutamate, glutamate receptors, glutamate transporters.

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Year: 2020
Published on: 19 March, 2020
Page: [260 - 276]
Pages: 17
DOI: 10.2174/1570159X17666191101125530
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