Synergistic association of valproate and resveratrol reduces brain injury in ischemic stroke

Lara Faggi, Giuseppe Pignataro, Edoardo Parrella, Vanessa Porrini, Antonio Vinciguerra, Pasquale Cepparulo, Ornella Cuomo, Annamaria Lanzillotta, Mariana Mota, Marina Benarese, Paolo Tonin, Lucio Annunziato, Pier Franco Spano, Marina Pizzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Histone deacetylation, together with altered acetylation of NF-κB/RelA, encompassing the K310 residue acetylation, occur during brain ischemia. By restoring the normal acetylation condition, we previously reported that sub-threshold doses of resveratrol and entinostat (MS-275), respectively, an activator of the AMP-activated kinase (AMPK)-sirtuin 1 pathway and an inhibitor of class I histone deacetylases (HDACs), synergistically elicited neuroprotection in a mouse model of ischemic stroke. To improve the translational power of this approach, we investigated the efficacy of MS-275 replacement with valproate, the antiepileptic drug also reported to be a class I HDAC blocker. In cortical neurons previously exposed to oxygen glucose deprivation (OGD), valproate elicited neuroprotection at 100 nmol/mL concentration when used alone and at 1 nmol/mL concentration when associated with resveratrol (3 nmol/mL). Resveratrol and valproate restored the acetylation of histone H3 (K9/18), and they reduced the RelA(K310) acetylation and the Bim level in neurons exposed to OGD. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis showed that the synergistic drug association impaired the RelA binding to the Bim promoter, as well as the promoter-specific H3 (K9/18) acetylation. In mice subjected to 60 min of middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO), the association of resveratrol 680 µg/kg and valproate 200 µg/kg significantly reduced the infarct volume as well as the neurological deficits. The present study suggests that valproate and resveratrol may represent a promising ready-to-use strategy to treat post-ischemic brain damage.

Original languageEnglish
Article number172
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 6 2018


  • Middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO)
  • Oxygen glucose deprivation (OGD)
  • Rela
  • Resveratrol
  • Valproate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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