Marine drugs 2017 11 0715(11) pii 10.3390/md15110322
Classic hypotheses of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) include cholinergic neuron death, acetylcholine (ACh) deficiency, metal ion dynamic equilibrium disorder, and deposition of amyloid and tau. Increased evidence suggests neuroinflammation and oxidative stress may cause AD. However, none of these factors induces AD independently, but they are all associated with the formation of Aβ and tau proteins. Current clinical treatments based on ACh deficiency can only temporarily relieve symptoms, accompanied with many side-effects. Hence, searching for natural neuroprotective agents, which can significantly improve the major symptoms and reverse disease progress, have received great attention. Currently, several bioactive marine products have shown neuroprotective activities, immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effects with low toxicity and mild side effects in laboratory studies. Recently, chitosan (CTS), chitooligosaccharide (COS) and their derivatives from exoskeletons of crustaceans and cell walls of fungi have shown neuroprotective and antioxidative effects, matrix metalloproteinase inhibition, anti-HIV and anti-inflammatory properties. With regards to the hypotheses of AD, the neuroprotective effect of CTS, COS, and their derivatives on AD-like changes in several models have been reported. CTS and COS exert beneficial effects on cognitive impairments via inhibiting oxidative stress and neuroinflammation. They are also a new type of non-toxic β-secretase and AChE inhibitor. As neuroprotective agents, they could reduce the cell membrane damage caused by copper ions and decrease the content of reactive oxygen species. This review will focus on their anti-neuroinflammation, antioxidants and their inhibition of β-amyloid, acetylcholinesterase and copper ions adsorption. Finally, the limitations and future work will be discussed.