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Biochem Pharmacol. 2009 Mar 15;77(6):1053-63. doi: 10.1016/j.bcp.2008.11.027. Epub 2008 Dec 3.

Long-term resveratrol administration reduces metabolic disturbances and lowers blood pressure in obese Zucker rats.

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Department of Pharmacology, CIBER-EHD, CTS-164 Research Group, School of Pharmacy, University of Granada, Campus Universitario Cartuja s/n, 18071 Granada, Spain.


Resveratrol is a natural polyphenolic stilbene derivative found in several human diet components that possess important and wide-ranging effects in biological systems including anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, cardio-protective, and anti-ageing actions and beneficial properties against metabolic diseases. This study addresses the effects of long-term administration of resveratrol on several functional alterations arising from the metabolic syndrome experimental model of obese Zucker rats, and the possible mechanisms involved. The high plasma concentrations of triglycerides, total cholesterol, free fatty acids, insulin and leptin found in obese Zucker rats were reduced in obese rats that received resveratrol. Furthermore, the elevated hepatic lipid content was significantly lower in obese rats treated with resveratrol, an effect which was related to the increased phosphorylation of 5'-AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) in the liver of these animals. Resveratrol treatment also improved the inflammatory status peculiar to this model, as it increased the concentration of adiponectin and lowered tumor necrosis factor-alpha production in the visceral adipose tissue (VAT) of obese Zucker rats. Moreover, chronic intake of resveratrol enhanced VAT eNOS expression among obese Zucker rats. These effects parallel the activation of AMPK and inhibition by phosphorylation of ACC in this tissue. The raised systolic blood pressure and reduced aortic eNOS expression found in obese Zucker rats were significantly improved in the resveratrol-treated obese rats. In conclusion, resveratrol improved dyslipidemia, hyperinsulinemia, hyperleptinemia and hypertension in obese Zucker rats, and produced anti-inflammatory effects in VAT, effects that seem to be mediated by AMPK activation.

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