Resveratrol and Eye Health
Another important way resveratrol can assist in maintaining health.
Study Title:Resveratrol Regulates Pathologic Angiogenesis by a Eukaryotic Elongation Factor-2 Kinase-Regulated Pathway
Abnormal angiogenesis is central to the pathophysiology of diverse disease processes including cancers, ischemic and atherosclerotic heart disease, and visually debilitating eye disease. Resveratrol is a naturally occurring phytoalexin that has been demonstrated to ameliorate and decelerate the aging process as well as blunt end organ damage from obesity. These effects of resveratrol are largely mediated by members of the sirtuin family of proteins. We demonstrate that resveratrol can inhibit pathological angiogenesis in vivo and in vitro by a sirtuin-independent pathway. Resveratrol inhibits the proliferation and migration of vascular endothelial cells by activating eukaryotic elongation factor-2 kinase. The active kinase in turn phosphorylates and inactivates elongation factor-2, a key mediator of ribosomal transfer and protein translation. Functional inhibition of the kinase by gene deletion in vivo or RNA as well as pharmacological inhibition in vitro is able to completely reverse the effects of resveratrol on blood vessel growth. These studies have identified a novel and critical pathway that promotes aberrant vascular proliferation and one that is amenable to modulation by pharmacological means. In addition, these results have uncovered a sirtuin-independent pathway by which resveratrol regulates angiogenesis.
From press release:
Resveratrol—found in red wine, grapes, blueberries, peanuts and other plants—stops out-of-control blood vessel growth in the eye, according to vision researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
The discovery has implications for preserving vision in blinding eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in Americans over 50.
The formation of new blood vessels, called angiogenesis, also plays a key role in certain cancers and in atherosclerosis. Conducting experiments in mouse retinas, the researchers found that resveratrol can inhibit angiogenesis. Another surprise was the pathway through which resveratrol blocked angiogenesis. The findings are reported in the July issue of the American Journal of Pathology.
“A great deal of research has identified resveratrol as an anti-aging compound, and given our interest in age-related eye disease, we wanted to find out whether there was a link,” says Washington University retina specialist Rajendra S. Apte, MD, PhD, the study’s senior investigator. “There were reports on resveratrol’s effects on blood vessels in other parts of the body, but there was no evidence that it had any effects within the eye.”
Examining the blood-vessel cells in the laboratory, they identified a pathway—known as a eukaryotic elongation factor-2 kinase (eEF2) regulated pathway—that was responsible for the compound’s protective effects. That was a surprise because past research involving resveratrol’s anti-aging effects had implicated a different mechanism that these experiments showed not to be involved.
“We have identified a novel pathway that could become a new target for therapies,” Apte says. “And we believe the pathway may be involved both in age-related eye disease and in other diseases where angiogenesis plays a destructive role.”
Previous research into resveratrol’s influence on aging and obesity had identified interactions between the red-wine compound and a group of proteins called sirtuins. Those proteins were not related to resveratrol’s effects on abnormal blood vessel formation. Instead, the researchers say that in addition to investigating resveratrol as a potential therapy, they also want to look more closely at the eEF2 pathway to determine whether it might provide a new set of targets for therapies, both for eye disease and other problems related to abnormal angiogenesis.
Apte, an assistant professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences and of developmental biology, says because resveratrol is given orally, patients may prefer it to many current treatments for retinal disease, which involve eye injections. The compound also is easily absorbed in the body.
In mice, resveratrol was effective both at preventing new blood vessels and at eliminating abnormal blood vessels that already had begun to develop.
“This could potentially be a preventive therapy in high-risk patients,” he says. “And because it worked on existing, abnormal blood vessels in the animals, it may be a therapy that can be started after angiogenesis already is causing damage.”
Apte stresses that the mouse model of macular degeneration they used is not identical to the disease in human eyes. In addition, the mice received large resveratrol doses, much more than would be found in several bottles of red wine. If resveratrol therapy is tried in people with eye disease, it would need to be given in pill form because of the high doses required, Apte says.
There are three major eye diseases that resveratrol treatment may help: age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and retinopathy of prematurity. Age-related macular degeneration involves the development of abnormal blood vessels beneath the center of the retina. It accounts for more than 40 percent of blindness among the elderly in nursing homes, and as baby boomers get older, the problem is expected to grow, with at least 8 million cases predicted by the year 2020.
In diabetic retinopathy, those blood vessels don’t develop beneath the retina. They grow into the retina itself. Diabetic retinopathy causes vision loss in about 20 percent of patients with diabetes. Almost 24 million people have diabetes in the United States alone.
Retinopathy of prematurity occurs when premature babies with immature retinas experience an obstruction in blood flow into the retina. In response, those children often develop abnormal blood vessels that can cause retinal detachment and interfere with vision. Worldwide, that condition blinds 50,000 newborn babies each year.
Apte says the pathway his laboratory has identified may be active not only in those blinding eye diseases, but in cancers and atherosclerosis as well. If so, then one day it might be possible to use resveratrol to improve eyesight and to prevent cardiovascular disease and some types of cancer, too.
Aslam A. Khan, Dru S. Dace, Alexey G. Ryazanov, Jennifer Kelly, and Rajendra S. Apte. Resveratrol Regulates Pathologic Angiogenesis by a Eukaryotic Elongation Factor-2 Kinase-Regulated Pathway American Journal Of Pathology 2010 June
Related Entries: Toxic Mineral Linked with Bowel Inflammation, Mitochondrial Damage, and Alzheimer’s
Magnesium and Vitamin B1 - Team Players Needed for Brain, Muscles, Metabolism, and More
Vitamin B1 / Thiamin - Are you getting enough?
H. Pylori and Autoimmune Link
Common Medications That Rob the Body of Nutrients
The Many Faces of Gluten Intolerance
Supplement Quality - Are You Getting What’s On the Label?
Statin Drugs Cause Atherosclerosis and Heart Failure
Heart Disease and Depression: A Two Way Street
Broken Heart Syndrome
Ten Things that Interfere with Thyroid Function
Vaccine Injury with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia
Bone Loss Caused by Thyroid Meds and Other Drugs
Five Key Tips for a Healthy 2015
Top Health Stories of 2014
Combat the Winter Blues
Carnosine – Amazing Benefits for Athletes, Heart, Brain, Eyes, and Diabetes
ADT Prostate Cancer Therapy Does More Harm Than Good
Musicians: A Note on Taking Care of the Body
Infections Linked to Autoimmune Thyroid Problems
Noni: Tropical Super Fruit – Powerful Support for the Immune System, Brain, Bones, and more
Enlarged Adenoids Linked with Food Allergies
Combat Ear Infections and Congestion Naturally
Glaucoma: Protecting Against a Silent, Devastating Disorder
Protect and Energize Your Immune System
GMOs, Roundup, and Sunscreen Linked with Diminished Brain Resiliency
Signs of Concussions and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
Sleep – Molecular Clean Up Time for the Brain
Artificial Sweeteners Provoke High Risk for Diabetes
Hypothyroidism, Brain Stress, and Season Changes
Alcohol, Adolescents, and Young Adults – A Neurological Disaster Waiting to Happen
GABA: Managing Brain Stimulation, Anxiety, and Other Consequences
Brain Fatigue: Fundamental Solutions
Brain Fatigue 101
Astonishing Benefits of Cranberries
Summer Heat Stress – More Than Just Dehydration
Chronic Active Epstein Barr Virus: Additional Tools for the Battle
Pine Nut Oil Reduces Inflammation, Clotting Risk, and Fatty Liver Congestion
New Findings with Epstein Barr Virus: The Sleeping Giant
Type 1 Diabetes: Risk Factor Alert
Disrupted Gut Clocks Linked with IBS, GERD, Obesity, and Other GI Concerns
Body Clocks and Weight Management – It’s All About Timing
Saturated Fat Myth – Debunked Again
Powerful Nutrition for Common Chemical Exposures
Endocrine Disruptor Compounds and Natural Solutions
Endocrine Disruptor Compounds and Your Hormones
Low Blood Pressure Linked with Brain Atrophy
Vitamin K, Leptin, AGEs, and Arthritis
Advanced Solutions for Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis: Good Oils versus Bad Oils and Inflammation
High Levels of Omega 6 Fatty Acids Found in Bones of Osteoarthritis Patients Worsens Joint Breakdown
Lipoic Acid Protects the Heart and Immune System from Acute Emotional Stress
Whiplash, Thyroid, and Adrenals
Brain Inflammation Now Documented in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Brain Protective Effects of Proathocyanidins
Nutrient Highlight: Discover the Best Form of Folate
Lutein and Zeaxanthin Offset Gene Weaknesses that Cause Macular Degeneration
Lycopene Builds Its Anti-Prostate Cancer Case
Carotenes Improve the Quality of Semen
Vitamin B12 as Methylcobalamin Repairs Nerves & Lowers Pain
Folic Acid Activates Neural Stem Cells for Brain Rejuvenation
Chromium Improves Insulin Function & Reduces Binge Eating
How Fiber and Niacin Protect Against Colon Inflammation and Cancer
Berries Have Anti-Aging Impact on Immune System
Strawberries Reduce Cardiovascular Risk
Friendly Flora Improves Fatty Liver Disease
Flavonoid Intake Improves Cardio Health in At-Risk Men
Polyphenols and Essential Fatty Acids Reduce Cardio Risk in Overweight People
Vitamin C Reduces the Risk for Hemorrhagic Stroke
Testosterone Therapy Increases Heart Attack Risk
Magnesium Intake Linked to Lower Cardiovascular Inflammation
Q10 Boosts Energy, Nerves, Muscles & Metabolism
Coenzyme Q10 Remarkably Improves Circulation
Tyrosine Helps Maintain Mental Ability Under Stress
Green Tea Extract Lowers Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, Blood Sugar & Inflammation
Poor Flexibility is a Sign of Stiff Arteries
A Sluggish Lymph System Causes Snoring & Sleep Apnea
DHA is Vital to Cardiovascular Wellness
Magnesium Supplements Lower Blood Pressure, Prevent Calcification
Magnesium for the Prevention of Heart Disease
Pomegranate Protects HDL Cholesterol from Damage
Pomegranate Blocks Flu Replication
Tocotrienols: Twenty Years of Dazzling Cardiovascular and Cancer Research
Is Resveratrol the Fountain of Youth?
Grape Seed Extract Lowers Blood Pressure
Scientists Tout Resveratrol as a Primary Nutrient for Cardio Health
Leptin, Thyroid, and Weight Loss
Excess Appetite Causes Abdominal Fat
Low Energy? Detect Thyroid Related Fatigue
Curcumin Boosts AMPK Activation, Prevents Fatty Liver
Quercetin Activates Mitochondrial Biogenesis
Quercetin Guards Against Inflammation-Induced Bone Loss
Head Injuries Double or Triple the Risk of Early Death
Most Popular News:
Connect with Wellness Resources: