Resveratrol attenuates intermittent hypoxia-induced macrophage migration to visceral white adipose tissue and insulin resistance in male mice

Endocrinology. 2015 Feb;156(2):437-43. doi: 10.1210/en.2014-1706. Epub 2014 Nov 18.


Chronic intermittent hypoxia during sleep (IH), as occurs in sleep apnea, promotes systemic insulin resistance. Resveratrol (Resv) has been reported to ameliorate high-fat diet-induced obesity, inflammation, and insulin resistance. To examine the effect of Resv on IH-induced metabolic dysfunction, male mice were subjected to IH or room air conditions for 8 weeks and treated with either Resv or vehicle (Veh). Fasting plasma levels of glucose, insulin, and leptin were obtained, homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance index levels were calculated, and insulin sensitivity tests (phosphorylated AKT [also known as protein kinase B]/total AKT) were performed in 2 visceral white adipose tissue (VWAT) depots (epididymal [Epi] and mesenteric [Mes]) along with flow cytometry assessments for VWAT macrophages and phenotypes (M1 and M2). IH-Veh and IH-Resv mice showed initial reductions in food intake with later recovery, with resultant lower body weights after 8 weeks but with IH-Resv showing better increases in body weight vs IH-Veh. IH-Veh and IH-Resv mice exhibited lower fasting glucose levels, but only IH-Veh had increased homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance index vs all 3 other groups. Leptin levels were preserved in IH-Veh but were significantly lower in IH-Resv. Reduced VWAT phosphorylated-AKT/AKT responses to insulin emerged in both Mes and Epi in IH-Veh but normalized in IH-Resv. Increases total macrophage counts and in M1 to M2 ratios occurred in IH-Veh Mes and Epi compared all other 3 groups. Thus, Resv ameliorates food intake and weight gain during IH exposures and markedly attenuates VWAT inflammation and insulin resistance, thereby providing a potentially useful adjunctive therapy for metabolic morbidity in the context of sleep apnea.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Obesity Agents / pharmacology*
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Eating
  • Hypoxia / immunology*
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Intra-Abdominal Fat / immunology*
  • Leptin / blood
  • Macrophages / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Random Allocation
  • Resveratrol
  • Stilbenes / pharmacology*
  • Weight Gain


  • Anti-Obesity Agents
  • Insulin
  • Leptin
  • Stilbenes
  • Resveratrol