Nutritional Redox Homeostasis and Cellular Stress Response: Differential Role of Homocysteine and Acetylcarnitine
In this chapter, we describe the more recent discoveries about the biochemical changes occurring in the central nervous system (CNS), when brain cells are
exposed to chronic oxidative insult as well as the key role played by the heat shock response, particularly the heme oxygenase (Hsp32) and Hsp70 pathways. Increasing evidence underscores the high potential of the Hsp system as a target for new neuroprotective strategies, especially those aimed at minimizing deleterious consequences associated with oxidative stress, such as in neurodegenerative disorders and brain aging. We review here the evidence for the emerging role of homocysteine in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative damage as well as the role of acetylcarnitine in modulating redox-dependent mechanisms leading to upregulation of vitagenes in brain, and hence potentiate brain stress tolerance.