[PHNUTR-L] Compound in wine reduces levels of Alzheimer's
Kathrynne Holden, MS, RD
fivestar at nutritionucanlivewith.com
Fri Nov 4 06:03:21 PST 2005
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Public release date: 3-Nov-2005
Contact: Nicole Kresge
nkresge at asbmb.org
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Compound in wine reduces levels of Alzheimer's disease-causing peptides
Bethesda, MD - A study published in the November 11 issue of the Journal
of Biological Chemistry shows that resveratrol, a compound found in
grapes and red wine, lowers the levels of the amyloid-beta peptides
which cause the telltale senile plaques of Alzheimer's disease.
"Resveratrol is a natural polyphenol occurring in abundance in several
plants, including grapes, berries and peanuts," explains study author
Philippe Marambaud. "The polyphenol is found in high concentrations in
red wines. The highest concentration of resveratrol has been reported in
wines prepared from Pinot Noir grapes. Generally, white wines contain 1%
to 5% of the resveratrol content present in most red wines."
One of the characteristic features of Alzheimer's disease is the
deposition of amyloid-beta peptides in the brain. Philippe Marambaud and
his colleagues at the Litwin-Zucker Research Center for the Study of
Alzheimer's Disease and Memory Disorders in Manhasset, New York,
administered resveratrol to cells which produce human amyloid-beta and
tested the compound's effectiveness by monitoring amyloid-beta levels
inside and outside the cells. They found that levels of amyloid-beta in
the treated cells were much lower than those in untreated cells.
The researchers believe the compound acts by stimulating the degradation
of amyloid-beta peptides by the proteasome, a barrel-shaped
multi-protein complex that can specifically digest proteins into short
polypeptides and amino acids.
However, eating grapes may not be a cure for Alzheimer's disease. "It is
difficult to know whether the anti-amyloidogenic effect of resveratrol
observed in cell culture systems can support the beneficial effect of
specific diets such as eating grapes," cautions Marambaud. "Resveratrol
in grapes may never reach the concentrations required to obtain the
effect observed in our studies. Grapes and wine however contain more
than 600 different components, including well-characterized antioxidant
molecules. Therefore, we cannot exclude the possibility that several
compounds work in synergy with small amounts of resveratrol to slow down
the progression of the neurodegenerative process in humans."
Following up on their studies, Marambaud and his colleagues are trying
to figure out how resveratrol exerts its effects in order to develop
similar compounds to use in fighting Alzheimer's disease. "Our long-term
goal is now to elucidate the exact molecular mechanisms involved in the
beneficial properties of resveratrol as a necessary prerequisite to the
identification of novel molecular targets and therapeutic approaches,"
says Marambaud. "The observation that resveratrol has a strong
anti-amyloidogenic activity is a powerful starting point for screening
analogues of resveratrol for more active and more stable compounds, a
task in which our laboratory is actively involved. We have already
obtained analogues of resveratrol that are 20 times more potent than the
original natural compound. We are now aiming to find more stable
analogues and to test them in vivo in mice."
Additional good news is that resveratrol may also be effective in
fighting other human amyloid-related diseases such as Huntington's,
Parkinson's and prion diseases. Studies by a group at the Institut
National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale in Paris, France headed
by Christian Néri have recently shown that resveratrol may protect
neurons against amyloid-like polyglutamines, a hallmark of Huntington's
Kathrynne Holden, MS, RD < fivestar at nutritionucanlivewith.com >
"Ask the Parkinson Dietitian" http://www.parkinson.org/
"Eat well, stay well with Parkinson's disease"
"Parkinson's disease: Guidelines for Medical Nutrition Therapy"
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