, Volume 29, Issue 11, pp 2105-2112

Resveratrol Protects Against Neurotoxicity Induced by Kainic Acid

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Increased oxidative stress has been implicated in the mechanisms of excitotoxicity in hippocampus induced by kainic acid (KA), an excitatory glutamate receptor agonist. Resveratrol, a polyphenolic antioxidant compound enriched in grape, is regarded as an important ingredient in red wine to offer cardiovascular and neural protective effects. This study was designed to investigate whether resveratrol treatment may ameliorate neuronal death after KA administration. Adult Sprague Dawley male rats were treated with KA (8 mg/kg) daily for 5 days and another group was treated similarly with KA plus resveratrol (30 mg/kg/day). Three hr after the last treatment protocol, animals were sacrificed, and brain sections were obtained for histochemical and immunohistochemical identification of neurons, astrocytes and microglial cells. After KA administration, significant neuronal death and activation of astrocytes and microglial cells were observed in the hippocampal CA1, CA3 and polymorphic layer (hilar) of the dentate gyrus (DG) (P < 0.001). The KA-induced hippocampal neuronal damage was significantly attenuated by treatment with resveratrol (P < 0.001). Resveratrol also suppressed KA-induced activation of astrocytes and microglial cells. Since increased oxidative stress is a key factor for KA-induced neurotoxicity, this study demonstrated the ability of resveratrol to act as free radical scavenger to protect against neuronal damage caused by excitotoxic insults.

Special issue dedicated to Dr. Lawrence F. Eng.