Autophagy induced by resveratrol prevents human prion protein-mediated neurotoxicity

Neurosci Res. 2012 Jun;73(2):99-105. doi: 10.1016/j.neures.2012.03.005. Epub 2012 Mar 23.


Our previous study revealed that resveratrol blocks prion protein peptide PrP(106-126)-induced neurotoxicity. However, the mechanism of resveratrol-mediated neuroprotection in prion diseases is not clear. Resveratrol initiates neuroprotective effects via the activation of autophagy, which protects organelles, cells, and organisms against misfolded protein-disorders, including Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease via regulation of mitochondrial homeostasis. Thus, we focused on elucidating the mechanisms responsible for resveratrol-mediated neuroprotection related to mitochondrial homeostasis as a result of autophagy activation. Resveratrol prevented PrP(106-126)-induced neuronal cell death by activating autophagy. Moreover, resveratrol-induced autophagy prevented the PrP(106-126)-induced reduction in mitochondrial potential and translocation of Bax to the mitochondria and cytochrome c release. Our results indicate that treatment with resveratrol appears to protect against neurotoxicity caused by prion protein peptides and the neuroprotection is induced by resveratrol-mediated autophagy signals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Autophagy / drug effects*
  • Autophagy / physiology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Humans
  • Mitochondria / drug effects
  • Mitochondria / physiology
  • Neuroprotective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Peptide Fragments / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Peptide Fragments / toxicity*
  • Prions / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Prions / toxicity*
  • Resveratrol
  • Stilbenes / pharmacology*


  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Prions
  • Stilbenes
  • prion protein (106-126)
  • Resveratrol