Neurological disorders occur in the central and peripheral nervous system and include Alzheimer's disease, stroke, and spinal cord injury. Activation of the innate immune system inevitably occurs in all forms of neurological disorders. The NOD-, LRR- and pyrin domain-containing 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome is a multimolecular complex that can sense danger signals associated with neurological disorders. Assembly of the NLRP3 inflammasome promotes caspase-1-mediated interleukin-1β and interleukin-18 maturation in microglia, where neuroinflammation contributes to neurological disease development and progression. Thus, this review attempts to elucidate the current knowledge regarding NLRP3 inflammasome activation and its crucial role in the pathogenesis of neurological disorders. Recent scientific findings with respect to neuroprotective effects of dietary phytochemicals against NLRP3 inflammasome-mediated neurological disorders summarized in this review suggest that modulation of the NLRP3 inflammasome assembly by plant-derived phytochemicals could be a potential strategy for prevention or treatment of neurological disorders.
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