Influence of resveratrol on oxidative stress resistance and life span in Caenorhabditis elegans

J Pharm Pharmacol. 2013 May;65(5):682-8. doi: 10.1111/jphp.12023. Epub 2013 Jan 31.


Objectives: Resveratrol (3,5,4'-trihydroxy-trans-stilbene), a polyphenol from red wine, has been reported to be beneficial in cases of ageing-related cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases owing to its property to reduce oxidative stress. Previous studies on the longevity promoting effect of resveratrol have been partly inconclusive, therefore we set out to investigate whether resveratrol at least promoted longevity in Caenorhabditis elegans under acute oxidative stress conditions.

Methods: C. elegans was cultured under standard conditions with or without resveratrol. After exposure to juglone-induced acute oxidative stress, the survival rate and hsp-16.2::GFP expression were measured. The influence of resveratrol on life span was recorded also under oxidative stress induced by high glucose concentrations in the growth medium.

Key findings: No extension of the normal life span of C. elegans was observed either in liquid or solid growth media containing different concentrations of resveratrol. However, resveratrol alleviated juglone-induced lethal oxidative stress, and significantly prolonged the life span of C. elegans under conditions of acute oxidative damage and oxidative stress caused by high concentrations of glucose.

Conclusions: Resveratrol, as an antioxidant, ameliorated oxidative stress in vivo but did not extend the life span of C. elegans under normal conditions. However, resveratrol did extend life span under conditions of oxidative stress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / drug effects*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / metabolism
  • Glucose
  • Longevity / drug effects*
  • Naphthoquinones
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Resveratrol
  • Stilbenes / pharmacology*
  • Vitis / chemistry*


  • Antioxidants
  • Naphthoquinones
  • Plant Extracts
  • Stilbenes
  • Glucose
  • Resveratrol
  • juglone