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Your Environment. Your Health.

Resveratrol Protects Mother and Fetus from Immunotoxic Effects of TCDD

Prakash Nagarkatti, Ph.D.
University of South Carolina School of Medicine
NIEHS Grant R01ES009098

A recent study by NIEHS grantees at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine found that administration of resveratrol protects the mother and developing fetus from the immunotoxic effects of dioxin. Resveratrol is a natural product found in grapes, red wine, nuts, berries, and other plants and is also available as an over-the-counter supplement. It has anti-inflammatory properties and is touted as a natural treatment for auto-immune disorders.

Pregnant laboratory mice were injected once with 2,3,7,8- tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin at 10 micrograms/kilogram body weight on gestation day 14. The pregnant mice also received resveratrol at 100 milligrams/kg body weight orally from gestation day 14-19. The researchers observed that resveratrol protected the pregnant mice and their offspring from dioxin-induced thymic atrophy, apoptosis, and alterations in T-cell receptor expression. It also significantly reduced thymus expression of cytochrome P450-1A1.

These findings demonstrate that, in laboratory animals, administration of resveratrol during pregnancy affords protection to the mother and the fetus from the toxicity induced by environmental pollutants that have their effects through activation of the Ah receptor. Additional studies are needed before similar claims can be made for humans.

Citation: Singh NP, Singh US, Nagarkatti M, Nagarkatti PS. Resveratrol (3,5,4'-trihydroxystilbene) protects pregnant mother and fetus from the immunotoxic effects of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2011 Feb;55(2):209-19.

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