Jianguo Li, Li Feng, Yonghua Xing, Yan Wang, Liqing Du, Chang Xu, Jia Cao, Qin Wang, Saijun Fan, Qiang Liu, and Feiyue Fan
Reactive oxygen species can lead to functional alterations in lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids, and an accumulation of ROS (Reactive oxygen species) is considered to be one factor that contributes to neurodegenerative changes. An increase in ROS production occurs following irradiation. Neuronal tissue is susceptible to oxidative stress because of its high oxygen consumption and modest antioxidant defenses. As a polyphenolic compound, resveratrol is frequently used as an activator of Sirt1 (Sirtuin 1). The present study was designed to explore the radioprotective and antioxidant effect of resveratrol on Sirt1 expression and activity induced by radiation and to provide a new target for the development of radiation protection drugs. Our results demonstrate that resveratrol inhibits apoptosis induced by radiation via the activation of Sirt1. We demonstrated an increase in Sirt1 mRNA that was present on 21 days of resveratrol treatment following irradiation in a concentration-dependent manner. Such mRNA increase was accompanied by an increase of Sirt1 protein and activity. Resveratrol effectively antagonized oxidation induced by irradiation, supporting its cellular ROS-scavenging effect. These results provide evidence that the mitochondrial protection and the antioxidant effect of resveratrol contribute to metabolic activity. These data suggest that Sirt1 may play an important role to protect neurons from oxidative stress.