The polyphenolic compound resveratrol (3,4,5-trihydroxystilbene) is a naturally occurring phytochemical which has been found in more than 70 plant species, including herbs and human food products such as grapes, berries, and peanuts. Resveratrol was first isolated in 1940; however, little attention was paid to it until its benefits in coronary heart disease were studied in 1992. Since then, increasing evidence has indicated that resveratrol may be useful in treating cardiovascular diseases, cancers, pain, inflammation, tissue injury, and in reducing the risk of neurodegenerative disorders, especially Alzheimers disease (AD). AD is characterized by a progressive dementia, and is one of the most common neurodegenerative disorders in the elderly. It has been reported that resveratrol exhibits neuroprotective benefits in animal models of AD. Resveratrol promotes the non-amyloidogenic cleavage of the amyloid precursor protein, enhances clearance of amyloid beta-peptides, and reduces neuronal damage. Despite the effort spent trying to understand the mechanisms by which resveratrol functions, the research work in this field is still incomplete. Many concerns such as bioavailability, biotransformation, synergism with other dietary factors, and risks inherent to its possible pro-oxidant activities still need to be addressed. This review summarizes and discusses the neuroprotective effects of resveratrol on AD, and their potential mechanisms.
Resveratrol, beta-amyloid protein, Alzheimer's disease, Epidemiological, French paradox, arthritis, estrogenic, lipoprotein, neurotrophic factor, plasminogen
School of Traditional Chinese Pharmacy, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, China.