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LE Magazine February 2008


Resveratrol prolongs lifespan and retards the onset of age-related markers in a short-lived vertebrate.

Resveratrol, a natural phytoalexin found in grapes and red wine, increases longevity in the short-lived invertebrates Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila and exerts a variety of biological effects in vertebrates, including protection from ischemia and neurotoxicity. Its effects on vertebrate lifespan were not yet known. The relatively long lifespan of mice, which live at least 2.5 years, is a hurdle for life-long pharmacological trials. Here, the authors used the short-lived seasonal fish Nothobranchius furzeri with a maximum recorded lifespan of 13 weeks in captivity. Short lifespan in this species is not the result of spontaneous or targeted genetic mutations, but a natural trait correlated with the necessity to breed in an ephemeral habitat and tied with accelerated development and expression of ageing biomarkers at a cellular level. Resveratrol was added to the food starting in early adulthood and caused a dose-dependent increase of median and maximum lifespan. In addition, resveratrol delays the age-dependent decay of locomotor activity and cognitive performances and reduces the expression of neurofibrillary degeneration in the brain. These results demonstrate that food supplementation with resveratrol prolongs lifespan and retards the expression of age-dependent traits in a short-lived vertebrate.

Curr Biol. 2006 Feb 7;16(3):296-300

Resveratrol improves mitochondrial function and protects against metabolic disease by activating SIRT1 and PGC-1alpha.

Diminished mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation and aerobic capacity are associated with reduced longevity. We tested whether resveratrol (RSV), which is known to extend lifespan, impacts mitochondrial function and metabolic homeostasis. Treatment of mice with RSV significantly increased their aerobic capacity, as evidenced by their increased running time and consumption of oxygen in muscle fibers. RSV’s effects were associated with an induction of genes for oxidative phosphorylation and mitochondrial biogenesis and were largely explained by an RSV-mediated decrease in PGC-1alpha acetylation and an increase in PGC-1alpha activity. This mechanism is consistent with RSV being a known activator of the protein deacetylase, SIRT1, and by the lack of effect of RSV in SIRT1(-/-) MEFs. Importantly, RSV treatment protected mice against diet-induced-obesity and insulin resistance. These pharmacological effects of RSV combined with the association of three Sirt1 SNPs and energy homeostasis in Finnish subjects implicates SIRT1 as a key regulator of energy and metabolic homeostasis.

Cell. 2006 Dec 15;127(6):1109-22

Resveratrol improves health and survival of mice on a high-calorie diet.

Resveratrol (3,5,4’-trihydroxystilbene) extends the lifespan of diverse species including Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster. In these organisms, lifespan extension is dependent on Sir2, a conserved deacetylase proposed to underlie the beneficial effects of caloric restriction. Here we show that resveratrol shifts the physiology of middle-aged mice on a high-calorie diet towards that of mice on a standard diet and significantly increases their survival. Resveratrol produces changes associated with longer lifespan, including increased insulin sensitivity, reduced insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-I) levels, increased AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator 1alpha (PGC-1alpha) activity, increased mitochondrial number, and improved motor function. Parametric analysis of gene set enrichment revealed that resveratrol opposed the effects of the high-calorie diet in 144 out of 153 significantly altered pathways. These data show that improving general health in mammals using small molecules is an attainable goal, and point to new approaches for treating obesity-related disorders and diseases of aging.

Nature. 2006 Nov 16;444(7117):337-42

Resveratrol, but not EGCG, in the diet suppresses DMBA-induced mammary cancer in rats.

Despite the advent of new and aggressive therapeutics, breast cancer remains a leading killer among women; hence there is a need for the prevention of this disease. Several naturally occurring polyphenols have received much attention for their health benefits, including anti-carcinogenic properties. Two of these are resveratrol, a component of red grapes, and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the major catechin found in green tea. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that these two polyphenols protect against chemically-induced mammary cancer by modulating mammary gland architecture, cell proliferation, and apoptosis. Female Sprague-Dawley CD rats were exposed to either resveratrol (1 g/kg AIN-76A diet), EGCG (0.065% in the drinking water), or control diet (AIN-76A) for the entirety of their life starting at birth. At 50 days postpartum, rats were treated with 60 mg dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA)/kg body weight to induce mammary cancer. Resveratrol, but not EGCG, suppressed mammary carcinogenesis (fewer tumors per rat and longer tumor latency). Analysis of mammary whole mounts from 50-day-old rats revealed that resveratrol, but not EGCG, treatment resulted in more differentiated lobular structures. Bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) incorporation studies showed that resveratrol treatment caused a significant reduction in proliferative cells in mammary terminal ductal structures at 50 days postpartum, making them less susceptible to carcinogen insult. The epithelial cells of terminal end buds in the mammary glands of resveratrol-treated rats also showed an increase in apoptotic cells compared to the control or EGCG-treated rats as measured by a DNA fragmentation assay. At the given doses, resveratrol treatment resulted in a serum resveratrol concentration of 2.00 microM, while treatment with EGCG resulted in a serum EGCG concentration of 31.06 nM. 17beta-Estradiol, progesterone, and prolactin concentrations in the serum were not significantly affected by resveratrol or EGCG. Neither polyphenol treatment resulted in toxicity as tested by alterations in body weights, diet and drink consumptions, and day to vaginal opening. We conclude that resveratrol in the diet can reduce susceptibility to mammary cancer, while EGCG in the drinking water at the dose used was not effective.

J Carcinog. 2006 May 15;5:15

Resveratrol suppresses prostate cancer progression in transgenic mice.

Resveratrol, a natural polyphenolic phytochemical, has been reported to act as an antioxidant and provide anticancer activities. We hypothesized that resveratrol would exert a chemopreventive effect against prostate cancer via regulation of sex steroid receptor and growth factor signaling pathways. In the current study, Transgenic Adenocarcinoma Mouse Prostate males were fed resveratrol (625 mg resveratrol per kg AIN-76A diet) or phytoestrogen-free, control diet (AIN-76A) starting at 5 weeks of age. Mechanisms of action and histopathology studies were conducted at 12 and 28 weeks of age, respectively. Resveratrol in the diet significantly reduced the incidence of poorly differentiated prostatic adenocarcinoma by 7.7-fold. In the dorsolateral prostate, resveratrol significantly inhibited cell proliferation, increased androgen receptor, estrogen receptor-beta, and insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor, and significantly decreased insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 and phospho-extracellular regulating kinase 1 (phospho-ERK 1). In the ventral prostate, resveratrol significantly reduced cell proliferation and phospho-ERKs 1 and 2, but did not significantly alter insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor and IGF-1. Serum total testosterone, free testosterone, estradiol, dihydrotestosterone and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) concentrations and Simian Virus-40 large T antigen expression in the prostate were not altered in resveratrol-treated mice. Total resveratrol concentration in the blood serum of 12-week-old mice treated for 3 weeks with 625 mg resveratrol per kg diet was 52 +/- 18 nM. The decrease in cell proliferation and the potent growth factor, IGF-1, the down-regulation of downstream effectors, phospho-ERKs 1 and 2 and the increase in the putative tumor suppressor, estrogen receptor-beta, provide a biochemical basis for resveratrol suppressing prostate cancer development.

Carcinogenesis. 2007 Sep;28(9):1946-53

Plant foods and herbal sources of resveratrol.

Stilbenes, in particular trans-resveratrol and its glucoside, are widely reported to be beneficial to health, having been shown to possess antioxidative, anticarcinogenic, and antitumor properties. Major dietary sources include grapes, wine, peanuts, and soy; however, they can also be introduced into the diet through Itadori tea, which has long been used in Japan and China as a traditional herbal remedy for heart disease and strokes. Analysis of grapes, peanuts, and Itadori tea shows that they contain mainly trans-resveratrol glucoside. In contrast, red wines are primarily a source of the aglycones cis- and trans-resveratrol. While peanuts and grapes contain low levels of the stilbenes, Itadori tea and red wine both supply relatively high concentrations of resveratrol. For people who do not consume alcohol, Itadori tea may be a suitable substitute for red wine. However, further study on the potential biological effects of other endogenous compounds in Itadori tea is required and there is also a need for more information on the absorption and in vivo biomedical actions of free and conjugated resveratrol.

J Agric Food Chem. 2002 May 22;50(11):3337-40

Role of resveratrol in prevention and therapy of cancer: preclinical and clinical studies.

Resveratrol, trans-3,5,4’-trihydroxystilbene, was first isolated in 1940 as a constituent of the roots of white hellebore (Veratrum grandiflorum O. Loes), but has since been found in various plants, including grapes, berries and peanuts. Besides cardioprotective effects, resveratrol exhibits anticancer properties, as suggested by its ability to suppress proliferation of a wide variety of tumor cells, including lymphoid and myeloid cancers; multiple myeloma; cancers of the breast, prostate, stomach, colon, pancreas, and thyroid; melanoma; head and neck squamous cell carcinoma; ovarian carcinoma; and cervical carcinoma. The growth-inhibitory effects of resveratrol are mediated through cell-cycle arrest; upregulation of p21Cip1/WAF1, p53 and Bax; down-regulation of survivin, cyclin D1, cyclin E, Bcl-2, Bcl-xL and clAPs; and activation of caspases. Resveratrol has been shown to suppress the activation of several transcription factors, including NF-kappaB, AP-1 and Egr-1; to inhibit protein kinases including IkappaBalpha kinase, JNK, MAPK, Akt, PKC, PKD and casein kinase II; and to down-regulate products of genes such as COX-2, 5-LOX, VEGF, IL-1, IL-6, IL-8, AR and PSA. These activities account for the suppression of angiogenesis by this stilbene. Resveratrol also has been shown to potentiate the apoptotic effects of cytokines (e.g., TRAIL), chemotherapeutic agents and gamma-radiation. Phamacokinetic studies revealed that the target organs of resveratrol are liver and kidney, where it is concentrated after absorption and is mainly converted to a sulfated form and a glucuronide conjugate. In vivo, resveratrol blocks the multistep process of carcinogenesis at various stages: it blocks carcinogen activation by inhibiting aryl hydrocarbon-induced CYP1A1 expression and activity, and suppresses tumor initiation, promotion and progression. Besides chemopreventive effects, resveratrol appears to exhibit therapeutic effects against cancer. Limited data in humans have revealed that resveratrol is pharmacologically quite safe. Currently, structural analogues of resveratrol with improved bioavailability are being pursued as potential therapeutic agents for cancer.

Anticancer Res. 2004 Sep-Oct;24(5A):2783-840

Inhibition of cardiac fibroblast proliferation and myofibroblast differentiation by resveratrol.

Cardiac fibroblasts (CFs) regulate myocardial remodeling by proliferating, differentiating, and secreting extracellular matrix proteins. Prolonged activation of CFs leads to cardiac fibrosis and reduced myocardial contractile function. Resveratrol (RES) exhibits a number of cardioprotective properties; however, the possibility that this compound affects CF function has not been considered. The current study tests whether RES directly influences the growth and proliferation of CFs and differentiation to the hypersecretory myofibroblast phenotype. Pretreatment of CFs with RES (5-25 microM) inhibited basal and ANG II-induced extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 1/2 and ERK kinase activation. This inhibition by RES reduced basal proliferation and blocked ANG II-induced growth and proliferation of CFs in a concentration-dependent manner, as measured by [(3)H]leucine and [(3)H]thymidine incorporation, respectively. RES pretreatment attenuated ERK phosphorylation when CFs were stimulated with 0.2 nM epidermal growth factor (EGF), a concentration at which EGF-induced ERK activation over basal was similar to the phosphorylation induced by 100 nM ANG II. Akt phosphorylation in CFs was unaffected by treatment with either 100 nM ANG II or 25 microM RES. Pretreatment of CFs with RES also reduced both ANG II- and transforming growth factor-beta-induced CF differentiation to the myofibroblast phenotype, indicated by a reduction in alpha-smooth muscle actin expression and stress fiber organization in CFs. This study identifies RES as an anti-fibrotic agent in the myocardium by limiting CF proliferation and differentiation, two critical steps in the pathogenesis of cardiac fibrosis.

Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2005 Mar;288(3):H1131-8

Effect of resveratrol on antioxidant enzyme activities in the brain of healthy rat.

We have studied the effect of resveratrol on lipoperoxidation and antioxidant enzyme activity level in the brain of healthy rats. When intraperitoneally administered, resveratrol significantly and dose dependently decreased brain malondialdehyde level. Resveratrol also increased in a dose-dependent way brain superoxide dismutase, catalase and peroxidase activities. Optimal effect on antioxidant enzyme and lipoperoxidation products were obtained with resveratrol concentration of 12.5 mg/kg body wt. Native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis analysis of antioxidant isoenzymes revealed that resveratrol up regulated at least two acidic superoxide dismutase isoforms called A(1) and A(2), two basic isoforms called B(1) and B(2). Resveratrol also up regulated two catalase isoforms and a broad peroxidase band corresponding to several isoforms. All these findings suggest that resveratrol is able to cross the blood brain barrier and exerts potent antioxidant features. Resveratrol also exerts neuroprotective properties by up regulating several detoxifying enzymes, most of which are iron proteins.

Neurochem Res. 2007 Jun;32(6):981-7

Effects of resveratrol on skeletal muscle in ischemia-reperfusion injury.

BACKGROUND: Resveratrol, a polyphenol found in grape and red wine, was previously shown to have free radical scavenging and antioxidant properties in various tissues. In this study, the effects of resveratrol were investigated in muscle tissue concerning the ischemia reperfusion (I/R) injury of rat hindlimb. METHODS: Arterial circulation of right hindlimbs of 24 Sprague-Dawley rats was ceased by a tourniquet applied for four hours (h). The tourniquet was released at the end of 4th hours and rats were divided into four groups of six rats. Then, extremity was reperfused for 4h in group I and for 8h in group II. Resveratrol in 0.5% ethyl alcohol was administered with a dose of 10 mg/kg in the treatment groups (group I and group II) intraperitoneally. Only 0.5% ethyl alcohol were administered in the control groups (group III and group IV) intraperitoneally. Gastrocnemius muscle was used for histological assessments and the anterior tibial muscle was used for measurement of malondialdehyde (MDA) levels. RESULTS: MN infiltration, edema, changes in diameters of muscle fibers and segmental necrosis were less prominent in rats treated with resveratrol compared with control groups (p<0.05). The MDA levels was significantly lower in treatment groups (p<0.05). CONCLUSION: The results suggest that resveratrol may protect the skeletal muscles against I/R injury with its potent antioxidant properties.

Ulus Travma Acil Cerrahi Derg. 2007 Oct;13(4):274-280

Inhibitory mechanisms of resveratrol in platelet activation: pivotal roles of p38 MAPK and NO/cyclic GMP.

Resveratrol has been reported to have antiplatelet activity; however, the detailed mechanisms have not yet been resolved. This study aimed to systematically examine the detailed mechanisms of resveratrol in the prevention of platelet activation in vitro and in vivo. Resveratrol (0.05-0.25 micromol/l) showed stronger inhibition of platelet aggregation stimulated by collagen (1 microg/ml) than other agonists. Resveratrol (0.15 and 0.25 micromol/l) inhibited collagen-induced platelet activation accompanied by [Ca(+2)]i mobilization, thromboxane A(2) (TxA(2)) formation, phosphoinositide breakdown, and protein kinase C (PKC) activation. Resveratrol markedly increased levels of NO/cyclic guanosine monophosphate (GMP), and cyclic GMP-induced vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein phosphorylation. Resveratrol markedly inhibited p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) but not Jun N-terminal kinase or extracellular signal-

regulated kinase-2 phosphorylation in washed platelets. Resveratrol-reduced hydroxyl radical (OH(-)) formation in the electron spin resonance study. In an in vivo study, resveratrol (5 mg/kg) significantly prolonged platelet plug formation of mice. In conclusion, the main findings of this study suggest that the inhibitory effects of resveratrol possibly involve (i) inhibition of the p38 MAPK-cytosolic phospholipase A(2)-arachidonic acid-TxA(2)-[Ca(+2)]i cascade and (ii) activation of NO/cyclic GMP, resulting in inhibition of phospholipase C and/or PKC activation. Resveratrol is likely to exert significant protective effects in thromboembolic-related disorders by inhibiting platelet aggregation.

Br J Haematol. 2007 Nov;139(3):475-85

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