NeuroMolecular Medicine

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 453–464 | Cite as

Role of dietary phenols in mitigating microglia-mediated neuroinflammation

  • Parakalan Rangarajan
  • Aparna Karthikeyan
  • S. T. DheenEmail author
Review Paper


Chronic neuroinflammation is a pathological feature of a number of central nervous system (CNS) diseases and is mediated by sustained activation of microglial cells, the innate immune cells of the CNS. Studies have mainly focused on identifying the molecular and epigenetic mechanisms of microglial activation. This is crucial in designing therapeutic strategies for neuropathologies in which prolonged microglial activation is known to exacerbate disease condition. In recent years, increasing evidence show that naturally occurring compounds present in regular diet could function as “nutraceuticals,” arresting microglial activation, and thus conferring neuroprotection. This review summarizes our understanding of the role of dietary phenolic nutraceuticals in mitigating microglia-mediated neuroinflammation. Studies show that these natural phenols inhibit key signaling pathways in activated microglia such as the NFκB, MAPK and JAK-STAT that trigger microglia-mediated inflammation in various neuropathological conditions such as injury, infection, stroke, autism and neurodegenerative diseases, i.e., Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect exerted by these natural phenols have shown considerable success in improving disease condition in animal models of neuropathologies, and thus seem to be suitable candidates for developing therapeutic strategies.


Microglia CNS Luteolin Quercetin Resveratrol Curcumin Neuroinflammation 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors confirm that this article content has no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Anatomy, Yong Loo Lin School of MedicineNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

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