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J Asian Nat Prod Res. 2005 Aug;7(4):633-41.

Resveratrol induces apoptosis and differentiation in acute promyelocytic leukemia (NB4) cells.

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Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Materia Medica, Peking Union Medical College and Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing 100050, China.


Resveratrol (3,5,4'-trihydroxy-trans-stilbene) is a naturally occurring phytoalexin found in grapes and wine, and has been reported to exert a variety of important pharmacological effects. We have investigated the activity of resveratrol on proliferation and differentiation of the acute promyelocytic leukemia cell line NB4. The growth inhibitory properties of resveratrol appear to be due to its induction of apoptotic cell death, as determined by morphological changes, DNA fragmentation, increased proportion of the subdiploid cell population and decreased mitochondrial transmembrane potential (Deltapsi(m)). Colorimetric assay for activity of caspase-3 showed an obvious increase in caspase-3 activity in cells after treatment with resveratrol. However, the expression levels of protein Bcl-2 and Bax show no significant change in response to resveratrol treatment. These results suggest that apoptosis of NB4 cells induced by resveratrol requires caspase-3 activation and is related to the mitochondrial transmembrane potential. The combination of resveratrol and all-tran-retinoic acid (ATRA) induced 100% of the NB4 cells to become NBT-positive, whereas only a small part of cells became positive for NBT after a similar exposure to either resveratrol or ATRA alone. Thus, resveratrol may be useful in treating acute promyelocytic leukemia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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