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J Nutr. 2002 Jul;132(7):2076-81.

Disparate in vitro and in vivo antileukemic effects of resveratrol, a natural polyphenolic compound found in grapes.

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  • 1Division of Hematology and Oncology, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, MI 48202, USA.


Resveratrol (trans-3,4',5-trihydroxystilbene), a polyphenol found in grapes and grape wine, has been reported to exhibit cardioprotective and chemopreventive activity against chemical carcinogenesis. It has also been shown to have growth inhibitory activity toward solid tumors in vivo. However, the antitumor activity of resveratrol against hematologic tumors in vivo has not been examined. In this study, the antileukemic activity of resveratrol in vitro and in vivo was examined using a mouse myeloid leukemia cell line (32Dp210). Treatment of 32Dp210 leukemia cells with resveratrol at micromolar concentrations (25-50 micromol/L) significantly and irreversibly inhibited their clonal growth in vitro. The clonal growth inhibition by resveratrol was associated with extensive cell death and an increase in hypodiploid (sub-G1) cells. Resveratol caused internucleosomal DNA fragmentation, suggesting apoptosis as the mode of cell death in 32Dp210 cells. DNA fragmentation was associated with activation of caspase-3, because cleavage of procaspase-3 was detected in resveratrol-treated cells. Although 32Dp210 cells treated with resveratrol in vitro did not produce leukemia in vivo, only a weak antileukemic effect of resveratrol was observed when administered orally. At doses of 8 mg or 40 mg/kg body daily, five times/wk, resveratrol did not affect the survival of mice injected with leukemia cells. Weak potential antileukemic activity of resveratrol was suggested only at a dose of 80 mg/kg body (2 survivors of 14 mice treated). Thus, despite strong antiproliferative and proapoptotic activities of resveratrol against 32Dp210 cells in vitro, a potential antileukemia effect in vivo, if present, occurs only in a small fraction of mice.

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