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J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Mar 23;53(6):1960-5.

In vitro inhibition of human cGMP-specific phosphodiesterase-5 by polyphenols from red grapes.

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Department of Pharmacological Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Milan, via Balzaretti 9, 20133 Milan, Italy.


A moderate consumption of red wine may reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases via wine-derived phenolic compounds. A variety of biological mechanisms have been proposed for wine-derived phenolic compounds including nitric oxide-mediated vasorelaxation. This study examined whether the vasodilating effect of wine-derived phenolic compounds was associated with the inhibition of phosphodiesterases (PDEs) and, in particular, PDE5. For this purpose, human recombinant PDE5A1 isoform was prepared by expression of the full-length cDNA of PDE5A1 into COS-7 cells. Red wine and the extracts from grape skin inhibited PDE5A1 activity, whereas the seed extracts had a negligible effect. The mixture of anthocyanins inhibited the enzyme activity (IC50 = 11.6 microM), with malvidin-3-O-beta-glucoside (IC50 = 35.4 microM) and malvidin (IC50 = 24.9 microM) the most potent among the monoglucosides and aglycons, respectively. trans-Resveratrol and trans-piceid exhibited negligible effects, whereas hydroxycinnamates were completely inactive. These results indicate that polyphenols-induced vasorelaxation may also be sustained by smooth muscle PDE inhibition by anthocyanins present in red wines and grapes.

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