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Int J Mol Med. 2012 Jun;29(6):974-82. doi: 10.3892/ijmm.2012.928. Epub 2012 Feb 28.

Resveratrol: Antioxidant activity and induction of fetal hemoglobin in erythroid cells from normal donors and β-thalassemia patients.

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Department of Hematology, Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel.


Thalassemia and sickle-cell anemia (SCA) present a major public health problem in countries where the number of carriers and affected individuals is high. As a result of the abnormalities in hemoglobin production, cells of thalassemia and SCA patients exhibit oxidative stress, which ultimately is responsible for the chronic anemia observed. Therefore, identification of compounds exhibiting both antioxidant and hemoglobin-inducing activities is highly needed. Our results demonstrate resveratrol to be such a compound. This was shown both in the human K562 cell line, as well as in erythroid precursors derived from normal donors and β-thalassemia patients. Resveratrol was shown to exhibit antioxidant activity and to stimulate the expression of the γ-globin genes and the accumulation of fetal hemoglobin (HbF). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report pointing to such a double effect of resveratrol. Since this natural product is already marketed as an antioxidant, future investigations should concentrate on demonstrating its potential to augment HbF production in experimental animal models (e.g., thalassemia and SCA mice) as well as in patients. We believe that the potential of clinical use of resveratrol as an antioxidant and HbF stimulator may offer a simple and inexpensive treatment to patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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