Neurobiol Dis. 2018 Jun;114:164-173. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2018.03.006. Epub 2018 Mar 10.

Resveratrol, a natural polyphenol, prevents chemotherapy-induced cognitive impairment: Involvement of cytokine modulation and neuroprotection.


Chemotherapy-induced cognitive impairment, also known as "chemobrain," is a common side effect. The purpose of this study was to examine whether resveratrol, a natural polyphenol that has nootropic effects, could prevent chemobrain and its underlying mechanisms. Mice received three injections of docetaxel, adriamycin, and cyclophosphamide (DAC) in combination, a common chemotherapy regimen, at two-day intervals within one week. Resveratrol (50 and 100 mg/kg per day) was orally administered for three weeks, beginning one week before the DAC treatment. Water maze test and manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging were used to evaluate animals' cognitive performance and brain neuronal activity, respectively.

Blood and brain tissues were collected for measurement of cytokines, cytokine regulators, and biomarkers for neuroplasticity. DAC treatment produced a striking cognitive impairment. Cotreatment with 100 mg/kg resveratrol ameliorated DAC-induced cognitive impairment and decreases in prefrontal and hippocampal neuronal activity.

Mice co-treated with both doses of resveratrol displayed significantly lower levels of the proinflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-6 (IL-6), but markedly higher levels of the anti-inflammatory cytokines IL-4 and IL-10 in several sera and brain tissues than those co-treated with vehicle. Resveratrol modulated the cytokine-regulating pathway peroxisome proliferator activated receptor (PPAR)-γ/nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB), and protected against DAC-induced decreases in the expression of the neuroplasticity biomarkers, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrkB), amino acid neurotransmitter receptors, and calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII). These results demonstrate the efficacy of resveratrol in preventing chemobrain and its association with cytokine modulation and neuroprotection.