Resveratrol, a phytoalexin found mainly in grapes, is a promising natural product with anti-cancer and cardio-protective activities. Here, we investigated, in C6 glioma cells, the effect of resveratrol on some specific parameters of astrocyte activity (glutamate uptake, glutamine synthetase and secretion of S100B, a neurotrophic cytokine) commonly associated with the protective role of these cells. Cell proliferation was significantly decreased by 8% and 26%, following 24h of treatment with 100 and 250 microM resveratrol. Extracellular S100B increased after 48 h of resveratrol exposure. Short-term resveratrol exposure (from 1 to 100 microM) induced a linear increase in glutamate uptake (up to 50% at 100 microM resveratrol) and in glutamine synthetase activity. Changes in these glial activities can contribute to the protective role of astrocytes in brain injury conditions, reinforcing the putative use of this compound in the therapeutic arsenal against neurodegenerative diseases and ischemic disorders.