Resveratrol inhibits electrical activity and insulin release from insulinoma cells by block of voltage-gated Ca+ channels and swelling-dependent Cl- currents

Cell Physiol Biochem. 2008;22(5-6):567-78. doi: 10.1159/000185541. Epub 2008 Dec 9.


The phytostilbene resveratrol (RV) improves the metabolic state in animal models by increasing the insulin responsiveness of tissues and there is evidence that RV affects insulin secretion from native beta-cells and insulinoma cells. In whole cell patch clamp experiments on clonal rat INS-1E cells we used high extracellular glucose (20 mM), extracellular hypotonicity (30%) or tolbutamide (100 microM) to elicit membrane depolarizations and electrical activity. Application of RV (50 microM) repolarized the cells, terminated electrical activity and prevented the hypotonicity-induced depolarization. These effects were fully reversible and intermittent application of RV restored tolbutamide-induced electrical activity after desensitization. Glucose-induced depolarization was counteracted by RV in presence of iberiotoxin (50 nM), showing that the RV effect does not depend on BK(Ca) channel activation. RV dose-dependently inhibited K(ATP) currents, L- and T-type Ca(2+) currents and swelling-dependent Cl(-) currents evoked by either hypotonicity or high extracellular glucose--ion conductances crucially involved in regulating the electrical activity of insulin secreting cells. We further show that RV blunts glucose-induced, but not basal insulin release. Our results indicate that RV counteracts/prevents stimulus-induced cell membrane depolarization and electrical activity by blocking voltage-gated Ca(2+)- and swelling-dependent Cl(-) currents despite the inhibition of K(ATP) currents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium Channels / metabolism*
  • Chloride Channels / metabolism*
  • Glucose / pharmacology
  • Insulin / metabolism*
  • Insulin Secretion
  • Insulinoma / metabolism*
  • Ion Channel Gating / drug effects*
  • Nifedipine / pharmacology
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques
  • Peptides / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Resveratrol
  • Solutions
  • Stilbenes / pharmacology*
  • Tolbutamide / pharmacology


  • Calcium Channels
  • Chloride Channels
  • Insulin
  • Peptides
  • Solutions
  • Stilbenes
  • iberiotoxin
  • Tolbutamide
  • Nifedipine
  • Glucose
  • Resveratrol