Neuroinflammation is closely associated with the pathogenesis of neurological disorders. The hallmark of neuroinflammation is considered to be microglial activation. Therefore, inhibition of microglial activation might hold a promising therapy for neurological disorders. Resveratrol, a natural non-flavonoid polyphenol found in grapes and red wine, has been recognized as a bioactive agent with potential benefit for health. Several lines of evidence show that resveratrol could exert neuroprotection against ischemia, seizure, and neurodegenerative diseases. However, the mechanisms underlying its beneficial neuroprotective effects are poorly defined. Here, by using rat primary cortical neuron-glia cultures, results showed that resveratrol attenuated lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced cortical neurotoxicity. Further studies revealed that microglia were responsible for resveratrol-mediated neuroprotection. Resveratrol significantly inhibited LPS-induced microglial activation and subsequent production of multiple pro-inflammatory and cytotoxic factors such as tumor necrosis factor-α, nitric oxide, and interleukin-1β. Collectively, resveratrol produced neuroprotection against microglia-induced neurotoxicity. Thus, resveratrol might represent a potential benefit for the treatment of inflammation-related neurological disorders. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.