Greatly waned neurogenesis, diminished microvasculature, astrocyte hypertrophy and activated microglia are among the most conspicuous structural changes in the aged hippocampus. Because these alterations can contribute to age-relatedmemory and mood impairments, strategies efficacious for mitigating these changes may preserve cognitive and mood function in old age.
Resveratrol, a phytoalexin found in the skin of red grapes having angiogenic and antiinflammatory properties, appears ideal for easing these age-related changes. Hence, we examined the efficacy of resveratrol for counteracting age-relatedmemory and mood impairments and the associated detrimental changes in the hippocampus.
Two groups of male F344 rats in late middle-age having similar learning and memory abilities were chosen and treated with resveratrol or vehicle for four weeks.
Analyses at ~25 months of age uncovered improved learning, memory and mood function in resveratrol-treated animals but impairments in vehicle-treated animals.
Resveratrol-treated animals also displayed increased net neurogenesis and microvasculature, and diminished astrocyte hypertrophy and microglial activation in the hippocampus.
These results provide novel evidence that resveratrol treatment in late middle age is efficacious for improvingmemory and mood function in old age. Modulation of the hippocampus plasticity and suppression of chronic low-level inflammation appear to underlie the functional benefits mediated by resveratrol.
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