Swelling of astrocytes represents a major component of the brain edema associated with many neurological conditions, including acute hepatic encephalopathy (AHE), traumatic brain injury (TBI) and ischemia. It has previously been reported that exposure of cultured astrocytes to ammonia (a factor strongly implicated in the pathogenesis of AHE), oxygen/glucose deprivation, or to direct mechanical trauma results in an increase in cell swelling. Since dietary polyphenols have been shown to exert a protective effect against cell injury, we examined whether resveratrol (RSV, 3,5,4′-trihydroxy-trans-stilbene, a stilbenoid phenol), has a protective effect on astrocyte swelling following its exposure to ammonia, oxygen–glucose deprivation (OGD), or trauma in vitro. Ammonia increased astrocyte swelling, and pre- or post-treatment of astrocytes with 10 and 25 µM RSV displayed an additive effect, while 5 µM did not prevent the effect of ammonia. However, pre-treatment of astrocytes with 25 µM RSV slightly, but significantly, reduced the trauma-induced astrocyte swelling at earlier time points (3 h), while post-treatment had no significant effect on the trauma-induced cell swelling at the 3 h time point. Instead, pre- or post-treatment of astrocytes with 25 µM RSV had an additive effect on trauma-induced astrocyte swelling. Further, pre- or post-treatment of astrocytes with 5 or 10 µM RSV had no significant effect on trauma-induced astrocyte swelling. When 5 or 10 µM RSV were added prior to, or during the process of OGD, as well as post-OGD, it caused a slight, but not statistically significant decline in cell swelling. However, when 25 µM RSV was added during the process of OGD, as well as after the cells were returned to normal condition (90 min period), such treatment showed an additive effect on the OGD-induced astrocyte swelling. Noteworthy, a higher concentration of RSV (25 µM) exhibited an additive effect on levels of phosphorylated forms of ERK1/2, and p38MAPK, as well as an increased activity of the Na+–K+–Cl− co-transporter-1 (NKCC1), factors known to induce astrocytes swelling, when the cells were treated with ammonia or after trauma or ischemia. Further, inhibition of ERK1/2, and p38MAPK diminished the RSV-induced exacerbation of cell swelling post-ammonia, trauma and OGD treatment. These findings strongly suggest that treatment of cultured astrocytes with RSV enhanced the ammonia, ischemia and trauma-induced cell swelling, likely through the exacerbation of intercellular signaling kinases and ion transporters. Accordingly, caution should be exercised when using RSV for the treatment of these neurological conditions, especially when brain edema is also suspected.
- Astrocyte swelling
- Brain trauma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience