Resveratrol protects against polychlorinated biphenyl-mediated impairment of glucose homeostasis in adipocytes

J Nutr Biochem. 2013 Dec;24(12):2168-74. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2013.08.009.


Resveratrol (RSV) is a plant polyphenol that exhibits several favorable effects on glucose homeostasis in adipocytes. Recent studies from our laboratory demonstrated that coplanar polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) that are ligands of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor impair glucose homeostasis in mice. PCB-induced impairment of glucose homeostasis was associated with augmented expression of inflammatory cytokines in adipose tissue, a site for accumulation of lipophilic PCBs. This study determined if RSV protects against PCB-77 induced impairment of glucose disposal in vitro and in vivo and if these beneficial effects are associated with enhanced nuclear factor erythoid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) signaling in adipose tissue. PCB-77 increased oxidative stress and abolished insulin stimulated 2-deoxy-d-glucose uptake in 3 T3-L1 adipocytes. These effects were restored by RSV, which resulted in a concentration-dependent increase in NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1), the downstream target of Nrf2 signaling. We quantified glucose and insulin tolerance and components of Nrf2 and insulin signaling cascades in adipose tissue of male C57BL/6 mice administered vehicle or PCB-77 (50 mg/kg) and fed a diet with or without resVida (0.1%, or 160 mg/kg per day). PCB-77 impaired glucose and insulin tolerance, and these effects were reversed by RSV. PCB-77 induced reductions in insulin signaling in adipose tissue were also abolished by RSV, which increased NQO1 expression. These results demonstrate that coplanar PCB-induced impairment of glucose homeostasis in mice can be prevented by RSV, potentially through stimulation of Nrf2 signaling and enhanced insulin stimulated glucose disposal in adipose tissue.

Keywords: Adipocyte; Diabetes; Nrf2; Polychlorinated biphenyl; Resveratrol.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • 3T3-L1 Cells
  • Adipocytes / drug effects*
  • Adipocytes / metabolism
  • Adipose Tissue / drug effects
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / drug effects
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Homeostasis / drug effects*
  • Insulin / blood
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • NAD(P)H Dehydrogenase (Quinone) / metabolism
  • NF-E2-Related Factor 2 / metabolism
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls / toxicity*
  • Receptors, Aryl Hydrocarbon / metabolism
  • Resveratrol
  • Signal Transduction
  • Stilbenes / pharmacology*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • NF-E2-Related Factor 2
  • Nfe2l2 protein, mouse
  • Receptors, Aryl Hydrocarbon
  • Stilbenes
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls
  • NAD(P)H Dehydrogenase (Quinone)
  • Nqo1 protein, mouse
  • Resveratrol
  • 3,4,3',4'-tetrachlorobiphenyl