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J Neuroophthalmol. 2010 Dec;30(4):328-39. doi: 10.1097/WNO.0b013e3181f7f833.

Oral resveratrol reduces neuronal damage in a model of multiple sclerosis.

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  • 1FM Kirby Center for Molecular Ophthalmology, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.



Neuronal loss in multiple sclerosis (MS) and its animal model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), correlates with permanent neurological dysfunction. Current MS therapies have limited the ability to prevent neuronal damage.


We examined whether oral therapy with SRT501, a pharmaceutical grade formulation of resveratrol, reduces neuronal loss during relapsing-remitting EAE. Resveratrol activates SIRT1, an NAD+-dependent deacetylase that promotes mitochondrial function.


Oral SRT501 prevented neuronal loss during optic neuritis, an inflammatory optic nerve lesion in MS and EAE. SRT501 also suppressed neurological dysfunction during EAE remission, and spinal cords from SRT501-treated mice had significantly higher axonal density than vehicle-treated mice. Similar neuroprotection was mediated by SRT1720, another SIRT1-activating compound; and sirtinol, an SIRT1 inhibitor, attenuated SRT501 neuroprotective effects. SIRT1 activators did not prevent inflammation.


These studies demonstrate that SRT501 attenuates neuronal damage and neurological dysfunction in EAE by a mechanism involving SIRT1 activation. SIRT1 activators are a potential oral therapy in MS.

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