Resveratrol inhibits ovarian tumor growth in an in vivo mouse model

Cancer. 2016 Mar 1;122(5):722-9. doi: 10.1002/cncr.29793. Epub 2015 Nov 30.


Background: Resveratrol inhibits the growth of ovarian carcinoma cells in vitro through the inhibition of glucose metabolism and the induction of both autophagy and apoptosis. In the current study, we investigated the metabolic and therapeutic effects of resveratrol in vivo.

Methods: A fluorescent xenograft mouse model of ovarian cancer was used. Mice were treated with cisplatin, resveratrol, or vehicle alone. Tumor burden was assessed using whole-body imaging. The effect of resveratrol on glucose uptake in vivo was determined using micro-positron emission tomography scanning. To determine whether resveratrol could inhibit tumor regrowth, tumor-bearing mice were treated with cisplatin followed by either daily resveratrol or vehicle. Autophagic response in resected tumors taken from mice treated with resveratrol was examined by transmission electron microscopy. Glycolysis and mitochondrial respiration in ovarian tumor cells after treatment with resveratrol was assessed.

Results: Mice treated with resveratrol and cisplatin were found to have a significantly reduced tumor burden compared with control animals (P<.001). Resveratrol-treated mice demonstrated a marked decrease in tumor uptake of glucose compared with controls. After treatment with cisplatin, "maintenance" resveratrol resulted in the suppression of tumor regrowth compared with mice receiving vehicle alone (P<.01). Tumors resected from mice treated with resveratrol exhibited autophagosomes consistent with the induction of autophagy. Treatment with resveratrol inhibited glycolytic response in ovarian tumor cells with high baseline glycolytic rates.

Conclusions: Treatment with resveratrol inhibits glucose uptake and has a significant antineoplastic effect in a preclinical mouse model of ovarian cancer. Resveratrol treatment suppresses tumor regrowth after therapy with cisplatin, suggesting that this agent has the potential to prolong disease-free survival. Cancer 2016;122:722-729. © 2015 American Cancer Society.

Keywords: apoptosis; autophagy; glycolysis; ovarian cancer; resveratrol; tumor metabolism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Autophagy / drug effects*
  • Carcinoma, Ovarian Epithelial
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects*
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cisplatin / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Glycolysis / drug effects
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Mice
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / diagnostic imaging*
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / metabolism
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Resveratrol
  • Stilbenes / pharmacology*
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Stilbenes
  • Glucose
  • Cisplatin
  • Resveratrol