Wine contains various polyphenols such as flavonoids, anthocyanins, and tannins. These molecules are responsible for the quality of wines, influencing their astringency, bitterness, and color and they are considered to have antioxidant activity. Polyphenols, extracted from grapes during the processes of vinification, could protect the body cells against reactive oxygen species level increase and could be useful to rescue several pathologies where oxidative stress represents the main cause. For that, in this study, red and white wine, provided by an Italian vinery (Marche region), have been analyzed. Chromatographic and morphofunctional analyses have been carried out for polyphenol extraction and to evaluate their protective effect on human myeloid U937 cells exposed to hydrogen peroxide. Both types of wines contained a mix of phenolic compounds with antioxidant properties and their content decreased, as expected, in white wine. Ultrastructural observations evidenced that wines, in particular red wine, strongly prevent mitochondrial damage and apoptotic cell death. In conclusion, the considered extracts show a relevant polyphenol content with strong antioxidant properties and abilities to prevent apoptosis. These findings suggest, for these compounds, a potential role in all pathological conditions where the body antioxidant system is overwhelmed.
Keywords: apoptosis; cell microscopy; chemical analyses; oxidative stress; wine polyphenols.