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Am J Hypertens. 2010 Feb;23(2):192-6. doi: 10.1038/ajh.2009.228. Epub 2009 Nov 26.

Resveratrol prevents the development of pathological cardiac hypertrophy and contractile dysfunction in the SHR without lowering blood pressure.

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Heart Failure Research Laboratory, Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine, Department of Physiology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.



Cardiac hypertrophy is a compensatory enlargement of the heart in response to stress such as hypertension. It is beneficial in reducing stress placed on the heart. However, when the stress is of a chronic nature, it becomes pathological and leads to cardiac dysfunction and heart failure. Current treatments for hypertension and heart failure have proven beneficial but are not highly specific and associated with side effects. Accordingly, there is an important need for alternative strategies to provide safe and effective treatment.


Ten-week-old male spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs) and Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats were treated with resveratrol (2.5 mg/kg/day) for a period of 10 weeks. Systolic blood pressure, and cardiac structure and function were measured in all groups at different time points of resveratrol treatment. Oxidative stress was also determined in all groups after 10 weeks of resveratrol treatment.


SHRs were characterized with high blood pressure and concentric hypertrophy from 15 weeks of age. Cardiac functional abnormalities were also evident in SHR from 15 weeks onwards. Resveratrol treatment significantly prevented the development of concentric hypertrophy, and systolic and diastolic dysfunction in SHR without lowering blood pressure. Resveratrol also significantly reduced the oxidative stress levels of cardiac tissue in SHR.


Resveratrol treatment was beneficial in preventing the development of concentric hypertrophy and cardiac dysfunction in SHR. The cardioprotective effect of resveratrol in SHR may be partially mediated by a reduction in oxidative stress. Thus, resveratrol may have potential in preventing cardiac impairment in patients with essential hypertension.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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