Cerebrovascular and Neurological Disorders: Protective Role of NRF2

Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Jul 12;20(14):3433. doi: 10.3390/ijms20143433.


Cellular defense mechanisms, intracellular signaling, and physiological functions are regulated by electrophiles and reactive oxygen species (ROS). Recent works strongly considered imbalanced ROS and electrophile overabundance as the leading cause of cellular and tissue damage, whereas oxidative stress (OS) plays a crucial role for the onset and progression of major cerebrovascular and neurodegenerative pathologies. These include Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Huntington's disease (HD), stroke, and aging. Nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor (NRF2) is the major modulator of the xenobiotic-activated receptor (XAR) and is accountable for activating the antioxidative response elements (ARE)-pathway modulating the detoxification and antioxidative responses of the cells. NRF2 activity, however, is also implicated in carcinogenesis protection, stem cells regulation, anti-inflammation, anti-aging, and so forth. Herein, we briefly describe the NRF2-ARE pathway and provide a review analysis of its functioning and system integration as well as its role in major CNS disorders. We also discuss NRF2-based therapeutic approaches for the treatment of neurodegenerative and cerebrovascular disorders.

Keywords: NRF2; alternative; cerebrovascular; neurodegenerative; oxidative stress; pathway.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / genetics
  • Aging / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / diagnosis
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / etiology*
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / genetics*
  • Comorbidity
  • Disease Susceptibility*
  • Humans
  • NF-E2-Related Factor 2 / genetics*
  • NF-E2-Related Factor 2 / metabolism*
  • Nervous System Diseases / diagnosis
  • Nervous System Diseases / etiology*
  • Nervous System Diseases / metabolism*
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Protein Binding
  • Risk Factors
  • Signal Transduction
  • Smoking / adverse effects


  • Biomarkers
  • NF-E2-Related Factor 2