Molecular Neurobiology

, Volume 56, Issue 3, pp 2101–2122 | Cite as

Neuroglobin Expression in the Brain: a Story of Tissue Homeostasis Preservation

  • Zoë P. Van Acker
  • Evi Luyckx
  • Sylvia DewildeEmail author


After its discovery in 2000, the notion grew that neuroglobin, a neuronal specific heme protein, is involved in cytoprotection. To date, neuroglobin levels have been positively correlated with a beneficial outcome in a plethora of neurotoxic insults, e.g., ischemic and traumatic brain injuries and Alzheimer’s disease. The first part of this review goes further into these changes of neuroglobin expression upon different neuronal insults as well as the underlying regulation. In the second part, we shed light on the mechanisms by which neuroglobin contributes to neuroprotection, being (i) the scavenging and detoxification of reactive oxygen/nitrogen species, (ii) the augmentation of the threshold for apoptosis initiation, (iii) its contribution to an anti-inflammatory milieu, and (iv) tissue regeneration. We also consider different neuroglobin models to address as yet unanswered questions. Based on the recent findings and progress in the field, we invigorate the avenues of neuroglobin in neurological ailments to increase in the coming years.


Neuroglobin Expression Neuroprotection Apoptosis Inflammation Neurogenesis 



ZP.V.A holds a PhD fellowship from the University of Antwerp (2014BAPDOCPROEX153). E.L is supported by the Research Foundation-Flanders (FWO).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Protein Science, Proteomics and Epigenetic Signaling, Department of Biomedical SciencesUniversity of AntwerpWilrijkBelgium

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