Journal of Molecular Neuroscience

, Volume 61, Issue 3, pp 289–304 | Cite as

Molecular Anti-inflammatory Mechanisms of Retinoids and Carotenoids in Alzheimer’s Disease: a Review of Current Evidence

  • Niyaz Mohammadzadeh Honarvar
  • Ahmad Saedisomeolia
  • Mina Abdolahi
  • Amir Shayeganrad
  • Gholamreza Taheri Sangsari
  • Babak Hassanzadeh Rad
  • Gerald Muench


Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is considered as one of the most prevalent neurodegenerative disorders characterized by progressive loss of mental function and ability to learn. AD is a multifactorial disorder. Various hypotheses are suggested for the pathophysiology of AD including “Aβ hypothesis,” “tau hypothesis,” and “cholinergic hypothesis.” Recently, it has been demonstrated that neuroinflammation is involved in the pathogenesis of AD. Neuroinflammation causes synaptic dysfunction and neuronal death within the brain. Excessive production of pro-inflammatory mediators induces Aβ peptide production/accumulation and hyperphosphorylated tau generating inflammatory molecules and cytokines. These inflammatory molecules disrupt blood–brain barrier integrity and increase the production of Aβ42 oligomers. Retinoids and carotenoids are potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents having neuroprotective properties. They are able to prevent disease progression through several mechanisms such as suppression of Aβ peptide production/accumulation, oxidative stress, and pro-inflammatory mediator’s secretion as well as improvement of cognitive performance. These observations, therefore, confirm the neuroprotective role of retinoids and carotenoids through multiple pathways. Therefore, the administration of these nutrients is considered as a promising approach to the prevention and/or treatment of AD in the future. The aim of this review is to present existing evidences regarding the beneficial effects of retinoids and carotenoids on AD’s risk and outcomes, seeking the mechanism of their action.


Alzheimer disease (AD) Retinoids Carotenoids Neuroinflammation 



The authors would like to acknowledge the assistance received by Mrs. Margaret Clarke from the School of Medicine, Western Sydney University who kindly edited of the manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Niyaz Mohammadzadeh Honarvar
    • 1
  • Ahmad Saedisomeolia
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Mina Abdolahi
    • 1
  • Amir Shayeganrad
    • 1
  • Gholamreza Taheri Sangsari
    • 4
  • Babak Hassanzadeh Rad
    • 5
  • Gerald Muench
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Cellular and Molecular Nutrition, School of Nutritional Sciences and DieteticsTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  2. 2.Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine Western Sydney UniversityNSWAustralia
  3. 3.School of Molecular Bioscience, Charles Perkins CentreUniversity of SydneyNSWAustralia
  4. 4.Department of Biology, East Tehran BranchAzad UniversityTehranIran
  5. 5.Azad University of KarajKarajIran

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