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Neurosci Lett. 2003 Dec 11;352(3):203-6.

Brain protection by resveratrol and fenofibrate against stroke requires peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha in mice.

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Department of Pharmacology, National Cardiovascular Center Research Institute, 5-7-1 Fujishirodai, Suita, 565-8565, Osaka, Japan.


Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are ligand-dependent transcription factors which belong to the nuclear receptor family. We examined whether PPARalpha agonists and resveratrol, a polyphenol contained in grapes, protect the brain against ischemia. To investigate whether resveratrol activates PPARs, we performed a cell-based transfection activity assay using luciferase reporter plasmid. PPARalpha and PPARgamma were activated by resveratrol in primary cortical cultures and vascular endothelial cells. Resveratrol (20 mg/kg, 3 days) reduced infarct volume by 36% at 24 h after middle cerebral artery occlusion in wild-type mice. The PPARalpha agonists fenofibrate (30 mg/kg, 3 days) and Wy-14643 (30 mg/kg, days) exerted similar brain protection. However, resveratrol and fenofibrate failed to protect the brain in PPARalpha knockout mice. The data indicate that PPARalpha agonists protect the brain through PPARalpha.

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