Intranasal administration of resveratrol successfully prevents lung cancer in A/J mice

Sci Rep. 2018 Sep 24;8(1):14257. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-32423-0.


Lung cancer is the most lethal cancer in the world. About 80% of lung cancer deaths are linked to tobacco use. As a complement to tobacco control, efficient chemoprevention strategies are needed to tackle lung cancer epidemic. Resveratrol is one of the most studied natural products, notably for its cancer chemoprevention properties. However, its low oral bioavailability has often limited the translation of in vitro activities to in vivo effects. While oral administration of resveratrol effectively inhibited colorectal carcinogenesis, it failed to protect mice from chemically-induced lung carcinogenesis. Therefore, non-invasive parenteral routes must be considered to bring resveratrol to the lungs. In the present study, intranasal administration of a concentrated formulation proved to be a valid method to expose the lungs to a sufficient amount of resveratrol. This formulation was administered three times a week for 25 weeks to A/J mice having 4-[methyl(nitroso)amino]-1-(3-pyridinyl)-1-butanone-induced lung carcinogenesis. Resveratrol-treated mice showed a 27% decrease in tumour multiplicity, with smaller tumours, resulting in 45% decrease in tumour volume/mouse. In vitro investigations highlighted apoptosis as a potential mechanism of action. This study presents an effective way to overcome resveratrol low oral bioavailability, encouraging a reevaluation of its use in future clinical trials.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intranasal
  • Animals
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Butanones / toxicity
  • Carcinogenesis / drug effects
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Lung / drug effects*
  • Lung / pathology
  • Lung Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Resveratrol / administration & dosage*


  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Butanones
  • Resveratrol