Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an adult onset neurodegenerative disease that causes progressive paralysis and death due to degeneration of motoneurons in spinal cord, brainstem and motor cortex. Nowadays, there is no effective therapy and patients die 2-5 years after diagnosis. Resveratrol (trans-3,4′,5-trihydroxystilbene) is a natural polyphenol found in grapes, with promising neuroprotective effects since it induces expression and activation of several neuroprotective pathways involving Sirtuin1 and AMPK. The objective of this work was to assess the effect of resveratrol administration on SOD1G93A ALS mice. We determined the onset of symptoms by rotarod test and evaluated upper and lower motoneuron function using electrophysiological tests. We assessed the survival of the animals and determined the number of spinal motoneurons. Finally, we further investigated resveratrol mechanism of action by means of western blot and immunohistochemical analysis. Resveratrol treatment from 8 weeks of age significantly delayed disease onset and preserved lower and upper motoneuron function in female and male animals. Moreover, resveratrol significantly extended SOD1G93A mice lifespan and promoted survival of spinal motoneurons. Delayed resveratrol administration from 12 weeks of age also improved spinal motoneuron function preservation and survival. Further experiments revealed that resveratrol protective effects were associated with increased expression and activation of Sirtuin 1 and AMPK in the ventral spinal cord. Both mediators promoted normalization of the autophagic flux and, more importantly, increased mitochondrial biogenesis in the SOD1G93A spinal cord. Taken together, our findings suggest that resveratrol may represent a promising therapy for ALS. © 2014 The American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics, Inc.
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Motoneuron disease
- Sirtuin 1