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J Pharm Pharmacol. 2002 Nov;54(11):1515-20.

Antihypertensive, vasodilator and antioxidant effects of a vinifera grape skin extract.

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Department of Pharmacology, IBRAG-CB State University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


Cumulative evidence suggests that moderate wine consumption exerts a cardioprotective effect. We investigated the occurrence of an antihypertensive effect of an alcohol-free hydroalcoholic grape skin extract (GSE) obtained from skins of a vinifera grape (Vitis labrusca) in experimental rodent hypertension models. The vasodilator effect of GSE (polyphenols concentration 55.5 mg g(-1)) was also assessed in the isolated mesenteric vascular bed of Wistar rats and the antioxidant effect was studied on lipid peroxidation of hepatic microsomes. Oral administration of GSE significantly reduced systolic, mean and diastolic arterial pressure in Wistar rats with desoxycorticosterone acetate-salt and N(G)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) induced experimental hypertension. In the rat isolated mesenteric vascular bed pre-contracted with norepinephrine, bolus injections of GSE induced endothelium-dependent vasodilatation that was substantially inhibited by L-NAME, but not by indometacin, tetraethylammonium or glibenclamide. Lipid peroxidation of hepatic microsomes estimated as malondialdehyde production was concentration-dependently inhibited by GSE. In conclusion, the antihypertensive effect of GSE might be owing to a combination of vasodilator and antioxidant actions of GSE. These findings also suggest that the beneficial effect of moderate red wine consumption could be owing to an antihypertensive action induced by compounds occurring in the skin of vinifera grapes.

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