Resveratrol protects spinal cord dorsal column from hypoxic injury by activating Nrf-2

V. Kesherwani, F. Atif, S. Yousuf, S. K. Agrawal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Damage from oxidative stress plays a critical role in spinal cord injury. Nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor (Nrf-2) signaling pathway can be activated by cellular oxidative stress. Resveratrol, a plant-derived polyphenolic compound found in red wine, has antioxidant properties. In the present study, we have examined the neuroprotective effect of resveratrol and the role of Nrf-2 in spinal cord hypoxic injury. The spinal cord was removed from adult male Wistar rats from T2-T10 and the dorsal column was used to induce hypoxic injury in vitro with and without treatment with resveratrol (50μM). Significant changes were found in the compound action potential (CAP) of spinal cord dorsal column, and hematoxyline and eosin (H&E) staining showed that resveratrol significantly improved neuronal injury. The biochemical assays showed significant changes in lipid peroxidase (LPO), reduced glutathione (GSH), superoxide dismutase (SOD), protein carbonyl (PC), mitochondrial ATP content, and mitochondrial Ca++. Furthermore, using immunohistochemistry and Western blot, we found that after resveratrol treatment during hypoxic injury there was a significant activation of NrF-2 and down regulation of the glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) content. The results show that resveratrol treatment has neuroprotective effects on CAP, Ca++ loading, and biochemical parameters after hypoxic injury. The neuroprotective effect is likely to be exerted by increased activation of transcription factor Nrf-2 by resveratrol along with its direct antioxidant effect to ameliorate the oxidative damage and preserve mitochondrial function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-88
Number of pages9
StatePublished - Jun 5 2013


  • Hypoxia
  • Nrf-2
  • Oxidative stress
  • Resveratrol
  • Spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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