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Br J Haematol. 2000 May;109(2):405-12.

Resveratrol induces Fas signalling-independent apoptosis in THP-1 human monocytic leukaemia cells.

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Research and Medical Services, Stratton VA Medical Center, Albany, NY 12208, USA.


Resveratrol, a natural product present in wine, has recently been shown to inhibit the growth of a number of cancer cell lines in vitro. In the current study, we have demonstrated that resveratrol inhibits the growth of THP-1 human monocytic leukaemia cells in a dose-dependent manner with a median effective dose of 12 microM. It did not induce differentiation of THP-1 cells and had no toxic effect on THP-1 cells that had been induced to differentiate into monocytes/macrophages by phorbol myristate acetate. A significant fraction of resveratrol-treated cells underwent apoptosis as judged by flow cytometric analysis of DNA content, DNA fragmentation and caspase-specific cleavage of poly(ADP-ribosyl) polymerase. Resveratrol treatment had no effect on the expression of Fas receptor or Fas ligand (FasL) in THP-1 cells, nor did it induce clustering of Fas receptors. In addition, THP-1 cells were resistant to activating anti-Fas antibody, and neutralizing anti-Fas and/or anti-FasL antibodies had no protective effect against resveratrol-induced inhibition of THP-1 cell growth. The effect of resveratrol on THP-1 cells was reversible after its removal from the culture medium. These results suggest that (1) resveratrol inhibits the growth of THP-1 cells, at least in part, by inducing apoptosis, (2) resveratrol-induced apoptosis of THP-1 cells is independent of the Fas/FasL signalling pathway and (3) resveratrol does not induce differentation of THP-1 cells and has no toxic effect on differentiated THP-1 cells. Thus, resveratrol may be a potential chemotherapeutic agent for the control of acute monocytic leukaemia.

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