[Wine, fibrinolysis and health]

Rev Med Chil. 2006 Aug;134(8):1040-8. doi: 10.4067/s0034-98872006000800015. Epub 2006 Nov 14.
[Article in Spanish]


Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in both men and women in the world. Epidemiological and experimental studies have associated moderate wine consumption (1 to 2 glasses/day) with a decrease in cardiovascular diseases. This decrease is probably due to the effect of ethanol and polyphenols present in the wine. The cardioprotective benefit of wine may be due, in part, to a modulation of the expression of proteins involved in fibrinolysis. Endothelial cells (ECs) play a major role in maintaining normal hemostasis, regulating the balance between the synthesis and interaction of proteins that promote clot formation (thrombosis) and fibrinolytic proteins that facilitate clot lysis. These cells are a major site of synthesis of fibrinolytic proteins, such as tissue type plasminogen activator (t-PA), urokinase-type plasminogen activator (u-PA) and the major inhibitor/regulator of fibrinolysis, PAI-1. EC-mediated fibrinolysis is regulated and localized to the EC surface through specific receptors for u-PA, t-PA and plasminogen. Evidence indicates that ethanol and polyphenols present in wine increase EC localized fibrinolisis. Upregulation of t-PA and u-PA activity and downregulation of PAI-1 may account, at least in part, for this net increase in fibrinolytic activity. The purpose of this review is to cover the main molecular and physiological aspects of moderate wine consumption mediated increase in fibrinolysis and reduction in cardiovascular risk.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Cardiovascular System / drug effects
  • Ethanol / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Fibrinolysis / drug effects*
  • Hemostasis / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Thrombosis / prevention & control
  • Wine* / analysis


  • Ethanol