Traditional Chinese medicine compounds regulate autophagy for treating neurodegenerative disease: A mechanism review

Zi Ying Wang, Jia Liu, Zhou Zhu, Cheng Fu Su, Sravan Gopalkrishnashetty Sreenivasmurthy, Ashok Iyaswamy, Jia Hong Lu, Gang Chen, Ju Xian Song*, Min Li*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


Neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) are common chronic diseases related to progressive damage of the nervous system. Globally, the number of people with an ND is dramatically increasing consistent with the fast aging of society and one of the common features of NDs is the abnormal aggregation of diverse proteins. Autophagy is the main process by which misfolded proteins and damaged organelles are removed from cells. It has been found that the impairment of autophagy is associated with many NDs, suggesting that autophagy has a vital role in the neurodegeneration process. Recently, more and more studies have reported that autophagy inducers display a protective role in different ND experimental models, suggesting that enhancement of autophagy could be a potential therapy for NDs. In this review, the evidence for beneficial effects of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) regulate autophagy in the models of Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), and other NDs are presented and common autophagy-related mechanisms are identified. The results demonstrate that TCM which regulate autophagy are potential therapeutic candidates for ND treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110968
Number of pages14
JournalBiomedicine and Pharmacotherapy
Early online date11 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Pharmacology

User-Defined Keywords

  • Autophagy
  • Neurodegenerative disease
  • Neuroprotection
  • Traditional Chinese medicine


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