Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology

, Volume 29, Issue 8, pp 1169–1180 | Cite as

Protective Effects of Resveratrol and Quercetin Against MPP+ -Induced Oxidative Stress Act by Modulating Markers of Apoptotic Death in Dopaminergic Neurons

  • Julie Bournival
  • Patrik Quessy
  • Maria-Grazia Martinoli
Original Paper


Reactive oxygen species produced by oxidative stress may participate in the apoptotic death of dopamine neurons distinctive of Parkinson’s disease. Resveratrol, a red wine extract, and quercetin, found mainly in green tea, are two natural polyphenols, presenting antioxidant properties in a variety of cellular paradigms. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of resveratrol and quercetin on the apoptotic cascade induced by the administration of 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium ion (MPP+), a Parkinsonian toxin, provoking the selective degeneration of dopaminergic neurons. Our results show that a pre-treatment for 3 h with resveratrol or quercetin before MPP+ administration could greatly reduce apoptotic neuronal PC12 death induced by MPP+. We also demonstrated that resveratrol or quercetin modulates mRNA levels and protein expression of Bax, a pro-apoptotic gene, and Bcl-2, an anti-apoptotic gene. We then evaluated the release of cytochrome c and the nuclear translocation of the apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF). Altogether, our results indicate that resveratrol and quercetin diminish apoptotic neuronal cell death by acting on the expression of pro- and anti-apoptotic genes. These findings support the role of these natural polyphenols in preventive and/or complementary therapies for several human neurodegenerative diseases caused by oxidative stress and apoptosis.


Apoptosis Resveratrol Quercetin Neuroprotection Oxidative stress 



This work was funded by a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (Canada) grant to MGM. JB is recipient of a studentship from Fonds de Recherche en Santé du Québec. We would like to thank Mrs. Fanny Longpré and Mr. Joshua Cloutier-Beaupré for their helpful technical assistance.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julie Bournival
    • 1
  • Patrik Quessy
    • 1
  • Maria-Grazia Martinoli
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry and Neuroscience Research GroupUniversité du Québec à Trois-RivièresTrois-RivièresCanada
  2. 2.Neuroscience Research CenterCentre de recherche de l’Université LavalSte-FoyCanada

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