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Int J Mol Med. 2003 Mar;11(3):317-20.

Effect of red wine and wine polyphenol resveratrol on endothelial function in hypercholesterolemic rabbits.

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Department of Cardiology, The First Affiliated Hospital, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 210029, P.R. China.


The effect of red wine and wine polyphenol resveratrol on endothelial function was investigated in experimental hypercholesterolemic rabbits. Endothelial function as measured by flow-mediated dilation (FMD) in the femoral artery was 19.28+/-2.81% in control animals fed a regular diet. In contrast, rabbits fed a high-cholesterol (1.5%) diet showed a reduced endothelial function, as revealed by a 25% reduction in the measured FMD. Intragastric feeding of resveratrol (3 mg/kg/day), red wine (4 ml/kg/day), dealcoholized red wine (4 ml/kg/day), for 12 weeks in hypercholesterolemic rabbits significantly mitigated the reduction in endothelial function, and resulted in FMD values of 14.52+/-0.60, 18.95+/-2.30, 17.58+/-1.43, and 18.80+/-3.94%, respectively. Measurement of plasma endothelin 1 (ET-1) and nitric oxide (NO) levels showed that feeding a high-cholesterol diet significantly increased plasma ET-1 levels (from 51.4+/-17.6 to 96.9+/-24.3 pg/ml), and decreased plasma NO concentration (from 104.6+/-18.5 to 67.7+/-16.1 pg/ml). With administration of resveratrol, red wine, or dealcoholized red wine, plasma ET-1 levels statistically decreased, in parallel with a significant elevation in NO levels. These results provide in vivo evidence suggesting that resveratrol and red wine improve endothelial function, which may be one of the mechanisms by which this red wine polyphenol exerts its alcohol-independent cardioprotective effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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