Grape seed proanthocyanidins improved cardiac recovery during reperfusion after ischemia in isolated rat hearts

Am J Clin Nutr. 2002 May;75(5):894-9. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/75.5.894.


Background: Increasing evidence shows that red wine consumption has cardioprotective effects. These effects have been attributed to the polyphenolic compounds in grapes.

Objective: We studied the effects of red grape seed proanthocyanidins on the recovery of postischemic function in isolated rat hearts.

Design: Two groups of rats were fed different doses of proanthocyanidin-rich extract for 3 wk and another group was untreated and served as controls. The animals were then anesthetized and the hearts were isolated and subjected to 30 min of ischemia followed by 2 h of reperfusion. Coronary effluents were collected during the third minute of reperfusion for measurement of oxygen free radicals by using electron spin resonance spectroscopy.

Results: In rats treated with 50 and 100 mg grape seed proanthocyanidins/kg, the incidence of reperfusion-induced ventricular fibrillation was reduced from its control value of 92% to 42% and 25%, respectively (P < 0.05 for both). The incidence of ventricular tachycardia showed the same pattern. In rats treated with 100 mg proanthocyanidins/kg, the recovery of coronary flow, aortic flow, and developed pressure after 60 min of reperfusion was improved by 32% +/- 8%, 98% +/- 8%, and 37% +/- 3%, respectively (P < 0.05 for all) compared with untreated control rats. Electron spin resonance studies indicated that proanthocyanidins significantly inhibited the formation of oxygen free radicals. In rats treated with 100 mg proanthocyanidins/kg, free radical intensity was reduced by 75% +/- 7% (P < 0.05) compared with the control rats.

Conclusion: Grape seed proanthocyanidins have cardioprotective effects against reperfusion-induced injury via their ability to reduce or remove, directly or indirectly, free radicals in myocardium that is reperfused after ischemia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anthocyanins / isolation & purification
  • Anthocyanins / pharmacology*
  • Antioxidants / isolation & purification
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Aorta / physiopathology
  • Cardiotonic Agents / isolation & purification
  • Cardiotonic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Coronary Circulation / drug effects
  • Heart / drug effects*
  • Heart / physiopathology*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Myocardial Ischemia / physiopathology*
  • Myocardial Reperfusion Injury / physiopathology*
  • Proanthocyanidins*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Recovery of Function
  • Regional Blood Flow / drug effects
  • Seeds / chemistry*
  • Vitis / chemistry*


  • Anthocyanins
  • Antioxidants
  • Cardiotonic Agents
  • Proanthocyanidins
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • proanthocyanidin