Effects of resveratrol on vascular tone and endothelial function of human saphenous vein and internal mammary artery

Int J Cardiol. 2005 Nov 2;105(2):209-15. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2005.01.013.


Background: The polyphenolic compound resveratrol presented in red wine has potent cardiovascular effect in animal. Here, we investigated the ability of resveratrol to relax human coronary bypass grafts, saphenous vein and internal mammary artery and also its effect on their endothelial reactivity.

Methods: Vascular rings were obtained from 38 male patients undergoing coronary artery bypass operation. The relaxant effects of resveratrol (10-70 microM) and acetylcholine (10(-8)-10(-4) M) were examined on precontracted saphenous vein and internal mammary artery rings.

Results: Resveratrol, at concentration of 70 microM caused relaxations of 34.2+/-5.7% in saphenous vein and 35.2+/-5.4% in internal mammary artery. Endothelium removal and l-NOARG (nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, 10(-4) M) pretreatment almost completely inhibited the relaxation to resveratrol in internal mammary artery but partially in saphenous vein rings. Indomethacin (cyclooxygenase inhibitor, 10(-5) M) slightly, but not significantly enhanced the relaxation to resveratrol in both vessels. The endothelium-dependent relaxations to acetylcholine were significantly improved in the presence of resveratrol of 20 microM in both grafts (E(max): 33.8+/-3.7% versus 46.8+/-4% in saphenous vein n=9; p<0.05; 54. 4+/-5.3% versus 69.3+/-5.4% in internal mammary artery, n=8, p<0.05). The relaxations to acetylcholine were fully eliminated by combination of resveratrol with l-NOARG (10(-4) M) in both vessels.

Conclusions: Resveratrol produced mainly endothelium-dependent and nitric oxide-mediated vasodilation in human internal mammary artery but partially in saphenous vein rings and improved their endothelial reactivity. This may have a therapeutic potential in cardiovascular diseases.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholine / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Coronary Artery Bypass*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / drug effects
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Indomethacin / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Mammary Arteries / drug effects
  • Mammary Arteries / physiology*
  • Mammary Arteries / transplantation
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Ischemia / surgery
  • Norepinephrine / pharmacology
  • Resveratrol
  • Saphenous Vein / drug effects
  • Saphenous Vein / physiology*
  • Saphenous Vein / transplantation
  • Stilbenes / therapeutic use*
  • Vasoconstrictor Agents / pharmacology
  • Vasodilation / drug effects*
  • Vasodilation / physiology
  • Vasodilator Agents / pharmacology*


  • Antioxidants
  • Stilbenes
  • Vasoconstrictor Agents
  • Vasodilator Agents
  • Acetylcholine
  • Resveratrol
  • Norepinephrine
  • Indomethacin