Hyperglycemia, a symptom of diabetes mellitus, induces hyperosmotic responses, including apoptosis, in vascular endothelial cells and leukocytes. Hyperosmotic shock elicits a stress response in mammalian cells, often leading to apoptotic cell death. In a previous report, we showed that hyperosmotic shock induced apoptosis in various mammalian cells. Importantly, apoptotic biochemical changes (i.e., caspase-3 activation and DNA fragmentation) were blocked by antioxidant pretreatment during hyperosmotic shock-induced cell death. In the present study, we report that resveratrol, a phytoalexin present in grapes with known antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, attenuates high glucose-induced apoptotic changes, including c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) activation and caspase-3 activation in human leukemia K562 cells. Experiments with the cell permeable dye, 2',7'-dichlorofluorescein diacetate (DCF-DA), an indicator of reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, revealed that high glucose treatment directly increased intracellular oxidative stress, which was attenuated by resveratrol. In addition, high glucose-treated K562 cells displayed a lower degree of attachment to collagen, the major component of vessel wall subendothelium. In contrast, cells pretreated with resveratrol followed by high glucose exhibited higher affinity for collagen. The results of this report collectively imply the involvement of oxidative stress in high glucose-induced apoptosis and alterations in attachment ability. Moreover, resveratrol blocks these events by virtue of its antioxidant property.
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