Therapeutic potential of resveratrol in depression-cardiovascular disease

Principal Investigator: Susan K Wood

Stress exposure precipitates psychiatric disorders such as depression in susceptible individuals. Depression is not only the leading cause of disability in the U.S. but it increases one’s risk of cardiovascular disease. The long-term goal of our work is to identify neurobiological mechanisms that cause individuals with depression to be at greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Recent data suggests that inflammation may be the link between depression and cardiovascular disease. Using a resident-intruder paradigm of social stress in rats, we previously identified a susceptible population of rats that developed behavioral and neuroendocrine endpoints related to depression and evidence of cardiovascular dysfunction. In these studies we will test the hypothesis that circulating cytokines and cytokines within stress-sensitive brain regions drive the vulnerability to depression and cardiovascular disease.

Toward that end, these studies will test the efficacy of the potent plant based anti-inflammatory, resveratrol, to inhibit the effects of social stress on neuroinflammation, indices of cardiovascular disease and depressive-like behaviors in a stress-susceptible population. Aim 1 will utilize cardiovascular telemetry to examine the cardioprotective effects of resveratrol on stress-induced cardiac dysfunction.

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Project PI: Susan Wood

Because neuroinflammation is gaining recognition for its role in depression and cardiovascular disease, Aim 2 will test the notion that neuroinflammation within the stress-sensitive brain region, the locus coeruleus, is capable of altering neuronal activity and thereby drives the stress-induced depressive-like phenotype. Studies in Aim 3 will use resveratrol to establish a role for neuroinflammation in altered serotonin metabolism following social defeat in another stress-sensitive brain region, the dorsal raphe. The implications of these studies seek to establish a therapeutic role for natural bioactive compounds with potent anti-inflammatory properties in treating stress-induced depression and cardiovascular disease in stress susceptible individuals.

PubMed Link