Neuroprotective effects of resveratrol on cerebral ischemia-induced neuron loss mediated by free radical scavenging and cerebral blood flow elevation

J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Apr 19;54(8):3126-31. doi: 10.1021/jf053011q.


Resveratrol is a natural phytoestrogen and possesses many biological functions such as anti-inflammatory activity and protection against atherosclerosis and myocardial infraction. The present study was carried out to elucidate the neuroprotective effect and possible mechanism of resveratrol on cerebral ischemia-induced hippocampus neuron loss. Sixty adult male rats underwent general anesthesia (urethane, 1.4 g/kg, i.p.) and were divided into three groups: sham operation, ischemia treatment, and ischemia combined with resveratrol administration (20 mg/kg, i.v.). The carotid artery was bilaterally ligated to induce cerebral ischemia. Microdialysis and high-performance liquid chromatography were used to analyze dihydroxybenzoic acid (DHBA) that reflected the hippocampal hydroxyl radical level. Hippocampal nitric oxide was assayed among different groups. During cerebral ischemia, the hydroxyl radical levels were elevated in rats and animals displayed severe neuronal loss. A single dose of resveratrol significantly increased the nitric oxide level and decreased the hydroxyl radical level. The reduction of cerebral blood flow and neuronal loss were also attenuated by resveratrol treatment. The results demonstrated that a single infusion of resveratrol could elicit neuroprotective effects on cerebral ischemia-induced neuron damage through free radical scavenging and cerebral blood elevation due to NO release.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Brain Ischemia / drug therapy*
  • Brain Ischemia / pathology*
  • Brain Ischemia / physiopathology
  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Heart Rate / drug effects
  • Hippocampus / blood supply
  • Hippocampus / chemistry
  • Male
  • Neurons / pathology*
  • Neuroprotective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Resveratrol
  • Stilbenes / therapeutic use*
  • Superoxide Dismutase


  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Stilbenes
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Resveratrol