Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: August 20, 2010
Publication Date: November 10, 2011
Citation: Panickar, K.S., Anderson, R.A. 2011. Dietary polyphenols exert neuroprotective effects by attenuating neuronal and astrocytic damage in cerebral ischemia. In: Farooqui, A.A., Farooqui, T., 1st Edition. New York, NY: Nova. p135-155. Technical Abstract: Polyphenols are natural substances with variable phenolic structures and are found in vegetables, fruits, grains, bark, roots, tea, and wine. There are over 8000 polyphenolic structures identified in plants, but edible plants contain only several hundred polyphenolic structures. Recent interest in polyphenols has increased greatly due to their potential health benefits. In addition to their antioxidant effects, some polyphenols also have insulin-potentiating, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, anti-viral, anti-ulcer, and anti-apoptotic properties. Beneficial effects of polyphenols in attenuating neuronal and astrocytic damage in ischemia/stroke have been demonstrated. Stroke is a neurological injury in which the blood supply to a part of the brain is interrupted. It involves the sudden loss of neuronal function due to a decline in cerebral perfusion. The part of the brain with decreased blood flow no longer receives adequate oxygen. Ischemic stroke can lead to vascular leakage, inflammation, tissue injury, and necrosis. Given that oxidative stress and inflammation are hypothesized to contribute to increased neural damage in ischemia, polyphenols appear to have tremendous potential in attenuating such injuries. Neuronal death and brain edema are important consequences of ischemia and oxidative stress and inflammation have been implicated in their pathogenesis. The purpose of this article is to review the current literature on the potential of various dietary polyphenols in attenuating ischemic injury with the goal to identify newer approaches to attenuate neural damage. A review of currently known mechanisms underlying cell death and/or damage is provided and the potential of dietary polyphenols to reduce such damage is critically reviewed.