Resveratrol Protects Against Spinal Cord Injury by Activating Autophagy and Inhibiting Apoptosis Mediated by the SIRT1/AMPK Signaling Pathway.
Neuroscience. 2017 Feb 23. Epub 2017 Feb 23. PMID: 28238848
Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a devastating condition with few effective treatments. Resveratrol, a polyphenolic compound, has exhibited neuroprotective effects in many neurodegenerative diseases. However, the explicit effect and mechanism of resveratrol on SCI is still unclear. Adenosine 5' monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1)，the downstream protein, play key roles in metabolizing of energy, resisting of resistance, and cellularprotein homeostasis. In this study, we determined the effects of resveratrol on SCI and their potential relationship with SIRT1/AMPK signaling pathway, autophagy and apoptosis. To determine theeffect of resveratrol on SCI recovery, a spinal cord contusion model was employed. Rats received treatment with resveratrol or DMSO immediately following contusion. We determined that Basso, Beattie, and Bresnahan (BBB) scores were significantly higher for injured rats treated with resveratrol. Nissl and HE staining revealed that resveratrol treatment significantly reduced the loss of motor neurons and lesion size in the spinal cord of injured rats when compared to vehicle-treated animals. Spinal cord tissue was assessed by Western blot, reverse transcriotion-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)and immunohistochemical analyses 7 days after injury for changes in expression of SIRT1/AMPK signaling pathway, autophagy and apoptosis proteins. Expression of SIRT1, p-AMPK, Beclin-1, LC3-B, and Bcl-2 was elevated in resveratrol-treated animals, whereas expression of p62, Cleaved Caspase-3, Caspase-9, and Bcl-2 associated X protein (Bax) was inhibited. Immunofluorescence analysis of primary neurons treated with resveratrol alone or in combination with Compound C (AMPK inhibitor) or EX527 (SIRT1 inhibitor) revealed that treatment with the inhibitors blocks the increase LC3-B expression in cells and increases the portion of TUNEL positive cells. Taken together, these results suggest that resveratrol exerts neuroprotective effects on SCI by regulating autophagy and apoptosis mediated by the SIRT1-AMPK signaling pathway.