19. Endothelial Nrf2 activation: a new target for resveratrol?

György, Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2010 Jul;299(1) :H10-2

ACCUMULATING EVIDENCE SUGGESTS that Mediterranean diets rich in plant-derived polyphenols may be one of the factors responsible for the lower incidence of coronary heart disease among Mediterranean populations (16, 21). Resveratrol (3,4=,5-trihydroxystilbene), a plant-derived polyphenolic compound belonging to a class of stilbenes (abundantly found in some roots, grapes, berries, peanuts, etc.) received rekindled scientific attention following its identification in red wine almost two decades ago (29). It has been speculated that resveratrol might be the red wine constituent to provide an explanation for the phenomenon known as the “French paradox” (French people suffer a relatively low incidence of coronary heart disease presumably because of the consumption of red wine) (14). Reports on the potential for resveratrol to extend life span in cell culture and in lower model organisms (18, 39, 41) and to inhibit the development of cancer (19) have continued to generate tremendous interest to further investigate the mechanisms and/or the potential therapeutic benefits of this natural compound both in vitro as well as in different preclinical disease models (4, 15). Resveratrol attenuated myocardial ischemic-reperfusion injury and atherosclerosis (14) as well as was shown to confer vasoprotection in rodent models of metabolic diseases (26, 28, 32, 34, 43) and in aged mice without extending life span (26, 37). The available evidence has suggested that it can mimic, at least in part, the antiaging effects of caloric restriction in rodents (2, 3, 30). Despite the growing evidence that resveratrol confers cardiac and vascular protective effects in preclinical disease models, the precise molecular and cellular mechanisms of its action remain elusive. From the recent literature the view emerges that resveratrol elicits complex cellular responses by promoting cell survival, maintaining cellular energetics, and attenuating proinflammatory phenotypic changes induced by oxidative stressors.