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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 972623, 15 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/972623
Review Article

Kainic Acid-Induced Excitotoxicity Experimental Model: Protective Merits of Natural Products and Plant Extracts

1Department of Chemical Pathology, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Health Campus, Kubang Kerian, 16150 Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia
2Department of Anatomy, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Health Campus, Kubang Kerian, 16150 Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia
3Department of Neurosciences, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Health Campus, Kubang Kerian, 16150 Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia
4Department of Pharmacology, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Health Campus, Kubang Kerian, 16150 Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia

Received 15 July 2015; Revised 16 November 2015; Accepted 17 November 2015

Academic Editor: Shan-Yu Su

Copyright © 2015 Nur Shafika Mohd Sairazi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Excitotoxicity is well recognized as a major pathological process of neuronal death in neurodegenerative diseases involving the central nervous system (CNS). In the animal models of neurodegeneration, excitotoxicity is commonly induced experimentally by chemical convulsants, particularly kainic acid (KA). KA-induced excitotoxicity in rodent models has been shown to result in seizures, behavioral changes, oxidative stress, glial activation, inflammatory mediator production, endoplasmic reticulum stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, and selective neurodegeneration in the brain upon KA administration. Recently, there is an emerging trend to search for natural sources to combat against excitotoxicity-associated neurodegenerative diseases. Natural products and plant extracts had attracted a considerable amount of attention because of their reported beneficial effects on the CNS, particularly their neuroprotective effect against excitotoxicity. They provide significant reduction and/or protection against the development and progression of acute and chronic neurodegeneration. This indicates that natural products and plants extracts may be useful in protecting against excitotoxicity-associated neurodegeneration. Thus, targeting of multiple pathways simultaneously may be the strategy to maximize the neuroprotection effect. This review summarizes the mechanisms involved in KA-induced excitotoxicity and attempts to collate the various researches related to the protective effect of natural products and plant extracts in the KA model of neurodegeneration.