Phospholipid and Lipid Derivatives as Potential Neuroprotective Compounds.
The worldwide demographical trend is changing towards a more elderly population. In particular, this phenomenon is increasing the number of neurodegenerative disease cases (e.g., Alzheimer's disease) in advanced countries. Therefore, there is a fertile field for neuroprotective approaches to address this problem. A useful strategy to protect the membrane integrity of cells and reduce inflammatory processes. In this context, the neurons represent particularly vulnerable cells. Thus, a protection strategy should include their membrane preservation and improved anti-inflammatory processes. The contribution of phospholipid derivatives to this issue is crucial and many articles evidence their role in both health and disease. On the other hand, some lipids containing choline actively participate to increase the choline levels in the nervous system. It is acknowledged that the cholinergic system plays a pivotal role both in the central and in the peripheral nervous system. Neurons cannot synthesize choline, which is provided by the diet. The reuptake of ACh and its hydrolysis represent the principal source of choline. Therefore, to cover choline needs, choline-containing lipids may be used. There are different works which demonstrate their neuroprotective features This review article analyzes phospholipid and lipid derivatives that through different mechanisms are involved in these protective processes, although, sometimes the same molecules may behave as neurotoxic elements, therefore, their protective machinery should be detailed better.