cis- and trans-Resveratrol are glucuronidated in rat brain, olfactory mucosa and cultured astrocytes

Pharmacology. 2007;80(2-3):185-92. doi: 10.1159/000104149. Epub 2007 Jun 18.


Background/aims: Glucuronidation of cis- and trans-resveratrol (3,5,4'-trihydroxy-trans-stilbene), which is a naturally occurring phytoalexin known to exert a number of beneficial health effects, was investigated in rat brain, cultured astrocytes and olfactory mucosa.

Methods: The isomers were incubated with tissue homogenates, microsomes, or rat liver recombinant UDP-glucuronosyltransferases in the presence of UDP-glucuronic acid. The glucuronides were separated by HPLC and quantitated. Astrocytes were exposed to lipopolysaccharide to promote inflammatory conditions.

Results: All tissues were able to form resveratrol glucuronides although at a lower extent, when compared to the liver. The reaction was stereo- and regioselective. In brain tissue, trans-resveratrol 3-O-glucuronide was mainly formed, whereas the cis-isomer was glucuronidated at a lower rate on that position. No 4'-O-glucuronide was detected in brain. In olfactory mucosa homogenates, the cis 3-O-glucuronide was mainly formed, whereas the trans-isomer was glucuronidated only on the 3-position. In astrocytes, 3-O-glucuronides of the cis- and trans-resveratrol were only detected. The rat recombinant UGT1A6 and UGT2B1 isoforms were able to glucuronidate cis- and trans-resveratrol. Finally, in inflammatory conditions, trans-resveratrol glucuronidation was enhanced in astrocytes.

Conclusion: Brain tissues are effective in the glucuronidation of resveratrol isomers. This metabolism pathway is likely to modulate the concentration of these biologically active substances.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Astrocytes / metabolism*
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cricetinae
  • Cricetulus
  • Glucuronides / metabolism*
  • Glucuronosyltransferase / metabolism
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism
  • Microsomes, Liver / metabolism
  • Olfactory Mucosa / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Resveratrol
  • Stereoisomerism
  • Stilbenes / chemistry
  • Stilbenes / metabolism*


  • Glucuronides
  • Isoenzymes
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Stilbenes
  • Glucuronosyltransferase
  • UDP-glucuronosyltransferase, UGT1A7
  • Resveratrol