A particularly phenolic-rich fraction extracted from red wine from the São Francisco valley (Northeastern Brazil) was chemically characterized and its hypotensive and antioxidant effects on spontaneously hypertensive rats were studied both in vitro and in vivo. The liquid-liquid pH dependent fractionation scheme afforded a fraction with high content of bioactive phenolics such as flavonols, flavonol glycosides, phenolic acids and anthocyanins, whose identities were confirmed by liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry analysis. Pretreatment of spontaneously hypertensive rats with this wine fraction at doses of 50 and 100 mg/kg by gavage. for 15 days was able to decrease mean arterial pressure and heart rate as well as decrease serum lipid peroxidation. The fraction at concentrations of 0.01-1000 µg/mL induced concentration-dependent relaxation of isolated rat superior mesenteric artery rings pre-contracted with phenylephrine and this effect was not attenuated by endothelium removal. Our results demonstrate it is possible for phenolic constituents of red wine that are orally bioavailable to exert in vivo hypotensive and antioxidant effects on intact endothelial function.
Keywords: flavonoids; hypertension; phenolics; red wine.