Differential effects on growth, cell cycle arrest, and induction of apoptosis by resveratrol in human prostate cancer cell lines

Exp Cell Res. 1999 May 25;249(1):109-15. doi: 10.1006/excr.1999.4471.


Epidemiologic studies have suggested that nutrition plays an important role in carcinogenesis and that 30% of cancer morbidity and mortality can potentially be prevented with proper adjustment of diets. Resveratrol, a polyphenol present in red wines and a variety of human foods, has recently been reported to exhibit chemopreventive properties when tested in a mouse skin cancer model system. In this study, we investigated the effects of resveratrol on growth, induction of apoptosis, and modulation of prostate-specific gene expression using cultured prostate cancer cells that mimic the initial (hormone-sensitive) and advanced (hormone-refractory) stages of prostate carcinoma. Androgen-responsive LNCaP and androgen-nonresponsive DU-145, PC-3, and JCA-1 human prostate cancer cells were cultured with different concentrations of resveratrol (2. 5 x 10(-5)-10(-7) M). Cell growth, cell cycle distribution, and apoptosis were determined. Addition of 2.5 x 10(-5) M resveratrol led to a substantial decrease in growth of LNCaP and in PC-3 and DU-145 cells, but only had a modest inhibitory effect on proliferation of JCA-1 cells. Flow cytometric analysis showed resveratrol to partially disrupt G1/S transition in all three androgen-nonresponsive cell lines, but had no effect in the androgen-responsive LNCaP cells. In difference to the androgen-nonresponsive prostate cancer cells however, resveratrol causes a significant percentage of LNCaP cells to undergo apoptosis and significantly lowers both intracellular and secreted prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels without affecting the expression of the androgen receptor (AR). These results suggest that resveratrol negatively modulates prostate cancer cell growth, by affecting mitogenesis as well as inducing apoptosis, in a prostate cell-type-specific manner. Resveratrol also regulates PSA gene expression by an AR-independent mechanism.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / metabolism
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Cell Cycle / drug effects
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Flow Cytometry
  • G1 Phase
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Growth Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / analysis
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / metabolism
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Receptors, Androgen / biosynthesis
  • Receptors, Androgen / genetics
  • Resveratrol
  • S Phase
  • Stilbenes / pharmacology*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Growth Inhibitors
  • Receptors, Androgen
  • Stilbenes
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen
  • Resveratrol