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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2018, Article ID 6241017, 17 pages
Review Article

Rutin as a Potent Antioxidant: Implications for Neurodegenerative Disorders

1Department of Medical Biosciences, University of the Western Cape, Robert Sobukwe Road, Private Bag X17, Bellville 7535, South Africa
2Division of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

Correspondence should be addressed to Okobi Eko Ekpo;

Received 9 March 2018; Accepted 29 April 2018; Published 27 June 2018

Academic Editor: Renata Szymanska

Copyright © 2018 Adaze Bijou Enogieru 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.


A wide range of neurodegenerative diseases (NDs), including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and prion diseases, share common mechanisms such as neuronal loss, apoptosis, mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, and inflammation. Intervention strategies using plant-derived bioactive compounds have been offered as a form of treatment for these debilitating conditions, as there are currently no remedies to prevent, reverse, or halt the progression of neuronal loss. Rutin, a glycoside of the flavonoid quercetin, is found in many plants and fruits, especially buckwheat, apricots, cherries, grapes, grapefruit, plums, and oranges. Pharmacological studies have reported the beneficial effects of rutin in many disease conditions, and its therapeutic potential in several models of NDs has created considerable excitement. Here, we have summarized the current knowledge on the neuroprotective mechanisms of rutin in various experimental models of NDs. The mechanisms of action reviewed in this article include reduction of proinflammatory cytokines, improved antioxidant enzyme activities, activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase cascade, downregulation of mRNA expression of PD-linked and proapoptotic genes, upregulation of the ion transport and antiapoptotic genes, and restoration of the activities of mitochondrial complex enzymes. Taken together, these findings suggest that rutin may be a promising neuroprotective compound for the treatment of NDs.