Effect of Low-Dose Alcohol Consumption on Inflammation Following Transient Focal Cerebral Ischemia in Rats

Kimberly D. McCarter, Chun Li, Zheng Jiang, Wei Lu, Hillary C. Smith, Guodong Xu, William G. Mayhan, Hong Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Increasing evidence suggest that low-dose alcohol consumption (LAC) reduces the incidence and improves the functional outcome of ischemic stroke. We determined the influence of LAC on post-ischemic inflammation. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into 3 groups, an ethanol (13.5% alcohol) group, a red wine (Castle Rock Pinot Noir, 13.5% alcohol) group, and a control group. The amount of alcohol given to red wine and ethanol groups was 1.4 g/kg/day. After 8 weeks, the animals were subjected to a 2-hour middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) and sacrificed at 24 hours of reperfusion. Cerebral ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury, expression of adhesion molecules and pro- A nd anti-inflammatory cytokines/chemokines, microglial activation and neutrophil infiltration were evaluated. The total infarct volume and neurological deficits were significantly reduced in red wine- A nd ethanol-fed rats compared to control rats. Both red wine and ethanol suppressed post-ischemic expression of adhesion molecules and microglial activation. In addition, both red wine and ethanol upregulated expression of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases 1 (TIMP-1), downregulated expression of proinflammatory cytokines/chemokines, and significantly alleviated post-ischemic expression of inflammatory mediators. Furthermore, red wine significantly reduced post-ischemic neutrophil infiltration. Our findings suggest that LAC may protect the brain against its I/R injury by suppressing post-ischemic inflammation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number12547
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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