Resveratrol prevents monocrotaline-induced pulmonary hypertension in rats

Hypertension. 2009 Sep;54(3):668-75. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.109.133397. Epub 2009 Jul 13.


Proliferation of pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells, endothelial dysfunction, oxidative stress, and inflammation promotes the development of pulmonary hypertension. Resveratrol is a polyphenolic compound that exerts antioxidant and anti-inflammatory protective effects in the systemic circulation, but its effects on pulmonary arteries remain poorly defined. The present study was undertaken to investigate the efficacy of resveratrol to prevent pulmonary hypertension. Rats injected with monocrotaline progressively developed pulmonary hypertension. Resveratrol treatment (25 mg/kg per day, PO, from day 1 postmonocrotaline) attenuated right ventricular systolic pressure and pulmonary arterial remodeling, decreased expression of inflammatory cytokines (tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin 1beta, interleukin 6, and platelet-derived growth factor-alpha/beta), and limited leukocyte infiltration in the lung. Resveratrol also inhibited proliferation of pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells. Treatment of rats with resveratrol increased expression of endothelial NO synthase, decreased oxidative stress, and improved endothelial function in small pulmonary arteries. Pulmonary hypertension was associated with an upregulation of NAD(P)H oxidase in small pulmonary arteries, which was significantly attenuated by resveratrol treatment. Our studies show that resveratrol exerts anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antiproliferative effects in the pulmonary arteries, which may contribute to the prevention of pulmonary hypertension.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Endothelium, Vascular / drug effects
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiopathology
  • Gene Expression / drug effects
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / chemically induced
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / physiopathology
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / prevention & control*
  • Interleukin-6 / genetics
  • Male
  • Monocrotaline
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / cytology
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / drug effects
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II / genetics
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Pulmonary Artery / drug effects*
  • Pulmonary Artery / metabolism
  • Pulmonary Artery / physiopathology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Resveratrol
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Stilbenes / pharmacology*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factors / genetics
  • Vasodilation / drug effects
  • Vasodilator Agents / pharmacology


  • Interleukin-6
  • Stilbenes
  • Tumor Necrosis Factors
  • Vasodilator Agents
  • Monocrotaline
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III
  • Resveratrol