Researchers discourage supplemental use by patients with multiple sclerosis, according to report in the American Journal of Pathology
Resveratrol, a naturally occurring polyphenol compound produced by the skin of red grapes and peanuts, and found in red wine, has been touted as a beneficial supplement due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. This has been supported by some experimental studies, whereas others suggest a lack of benefit. A new study using two multiple sclerosis (MS) models published in The American Journal of Pathology has found that resveratrol actually worsened MS-like neuropathology and inflammation and had no neuroprotective effects.
"Resveratrol may have detrimental effects in some disease conditions and should be discouraged for supplemental use by MS patients pending further research," says lead investigator Ikuo Tsunoda, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Center for Molecular & Tumor Virology of the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Shreveport, LA.
Investigators (Fumitaka Sato, PhD, et al) tested resveratrol in autoimmune and viral models of MS. In the autoimmune model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) was induced in 6-week-old mice using myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG)35-55 peptide. Mice were fed either a control diet or a diet containing resveratrol for 2 months or only during the early (days -1 to 8) or the late (days 14 to 23) phases of EAE. Around 12 days after MOG sensitization, all groups started to develop clinical signs, such as tail and hind limb paralysis, and the symptoms worsened and peaked by 3 weeks. After 5 weeks, mice fed the control diet showed either complete recovery or mild paralysis, but all three groups fed resveratrol exhibited severe and lasting EAE without remission.
Spinal cord neuropathology showed higher pathology scores in demyelination, meningitis, perivascular cuffing (inflammation), and overall pathology in mice that had been given resveratrol during the early phase compared with mice fed a control diet, whereas mice treated with resveratrol during the entire treatment period had significantly higher pathology scores in meningitis and overall pathology than controls. Groups did not differ in brain pathology scores.
Although it has been suggested that resveratrol has anti-inflammatory properties, in this study resveratrol did not suppress autoimmune responses as measured by levels of MOG35-55-specific lymphoproliferative responses and pro-inflammatory cytokine production.