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PLoS One. 2012;7(10):e47792. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0047792. Epub 2012 Oct 17.

Protection against recurrent stroke with resveratrol: endothelial protection.

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Department of Physiology, Clinical Neurosciences and Radiology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada.


Despite increased risk of a recurrent stroke following a minor stroke, information is minimal regarding the interaction between injurious mild cerebral ischemic episodes and the possible treatments which might be effective. The aim of the current study was to investigate recurrent ischemic stroke and whether resveratrol, a nutritive polyphenol with promising cardio- and neuro- protective properties, could ameliorate the associated brain damage. Experiments in adult rats demonstrated that a mild ischemic stroke followed by a second mild cerebral ischemia exacerbated brain damage, and, daily oral resveratrol treatment after the first ischemic insult reduced ischemic cell death with the recurrent insult (P<0.002). Further investigation demonstrated reduction of both inflammatory changes and markers of oxidative stress in resveratrol treated animals. The protection observed with resveratrol treatment could not be explained by systemic effects of resveratrol treatment including effects either on blood pressure or body temperature measured telemetrically. Investigation of resveratrol effects on the blood-brain barrier in vivo demonstrated that resveratrol treatment reduced blood-brain barrier disruption and edema following recurrent stroke without affecting regional cerebral blood flow. Investigation of the mechanism in primary cell culture studies demonstrated that resveratrol treatment significantly protected endothelial cells against an in vitro 'ischemia' resulting in improved viability against oxygen and glucose deprivation (39.6 ± 6.6% and 81.3 ± 9.5% in vehicle and resveratrol treated cells, respectively). An inhibition of nitric oxide synthesis did not prevent the improved cell viability following oxygen glucose deprivation but SIRT-1 inhibition with sirtinol partially blocked the protection (P<0.001) suggesting endothelial protection is to some extent SIRT-1 dependent. Collectively, the results support that oral resveratrol treatment provides a low risk strategy to protect the brain from enhanced damage produced by recurrent stroke which is mediated in part by a protective effect of resveratrol on the endothelium of the cerebrovasculature.

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