Resveratrol has anabolic effects on disc degeneration in a rabbit model.
J Korean Med Sci. 2013 Jun ;28(6):939-45. Epub 2013 Jun 3. PMID: 23772162
This study was done to evaluate whether injections of resveratrol, a natural compound found in the skin of grapes, had anabolic effects on degenerated intervertebral discs in a rabbit model. Two non-continuous lumbar discs were punctured in rabbits to induce disc degeneration. Four weeks and 6 weeks after puncture, the rabbits were treated by injections with dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) or resveratrol. At 4, 8, and 16 weeks after initial injection, rabbits were sacrificed and the spine was extracted for magnetic resonance image (MRI), mRNA expression, and histological staining. Resveratrol treatment resulted in stronger signal intensity in T2-weighted images. MRI grade showed significantly lower in the resveratrol group than the DMSO group (P = 0.039). In the resveratrol group, aggrecan gene expression was significantly increased than that in the DMSO group at 16 weeks after injection (P = 0.027). MMP-13 mRNA levels in the resveratrol group were significantly decreased than those in the DMSO group at 8 and 16 weeks (P = 0.006 and P = 0.048, respectively). In hematoxylin and eosin stain, resveratrol-treated discs showed the features of regeneration. Histologic grade revealed improvement in resveratrol-treated discs, compared with DMSO-treated discs (P = 0.024). These anabolic effects on degenerated discs indicate that resveratrol is a promising candidate for treatment of degenerative disc disease.