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Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2015, Vol. 13 ›› Issue (5): 289-296.doi: 10.1016/S2095-4964(15)60187-X

• Review • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Autophagy in cerebral ischemia and the effects of traditional Chinese medicine

Xiao-ping Huanga, Huang Dingb, Jin-dong Luc, Ying-hong Tangb, Bing-xiang Dengc, Chang-qing Denga   

  1. a Molecular Pathology Laboratory, Hunan University of Chinese Medicine, Changsha 410208, Hunan Province, China
    b Key Laboratory of Hunan Province for Prevention and Treatment of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine on Cardio-cerebral Diseases, Changsha 410208, Hunan Province, China
    c Key Laboratory of Hunan Universities for Cell Biology and Molecular Techniques, Changsha 410208, Hunan Province, China
  • Received:2015-01-25 Accepted:2015-04-14 Online:2015-09-10 Published:2015-09-15

Autophagy is a lysosome-mediated degradation process for non-essential or damaged cellular constituents, playing an important homeostatic role in cell survival, differentiation and development to maintain homeostasis. Autophagy is involved in tumors as well as neurodegenerative, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases. Recently, active compounds from traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) have been found to modulate the levels of autophagy in tumor cells, nerve cells, myocardial cells and endothelial cells. Ischemic stroke is a major cause of neurological disability and places a heavy burden on family and society. Regaining function can significantly reduce dependence and improve the quality of life of stroke survivors. In healthy cells, autophagy plays a key role in adapting to nutritional deprivation and eliminating aggregated proteins, however inappropriate activation of autophagy may lead to cell death in cerebral ischemia. This paper reviews the process and the molecular basis of autophagy, as well as its roles in cerebral ischemia and the roles of TCM in modulating its activity.

Key words: Autophagy, Brain ischemia, Drugs, Chinese herbal, Medicine, Traditional Chinese, Review

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