Resveratrol impairs cellular mechanisms associated with the pathogenesis of endometriosis

Reprod Biomed Online. 2022 Jun;44(6):976-990. doi: 10.1016/j.rbmo.2022.02.008. Epub 2022 Feb 15.


Research question: Does resveratrol exert a potent inhibitory effect on the development of endometriosis by interfering with some pivotal processes?

Design: In-vitro cultures of primary endometriotic stromal cells, immortalized endometrial stromal (St-T1b) and endometriotic epithelial (12Z) cells were used to assess the effects of resveratrol on endometrial cell mechanisms. The effects of resveratrol on 12Z and St-T1b cell viability were assessed by MTT assay, apoptosis by FITC Annexin V assay and cleaved caspase-3 levels and cell migration by wound healing assay. The effect of resveratrol on the expression of genes related to cell migration, angiogenesis and cell stemness was evaluated by qRT-PCR.

Results: Resveratrol significantly decreased cell viability (P= 0.0065 to P = 0.0180), cell migration (P < 0.001 to P = 0.0225) and increased the number of apoptotic cells (P = 0.0031 to P = 0.0432) in both cell lines. In cell lines and primary culture, the treatment reduced MMP-2/TIMP-1 (P < 0.001 to P = 0.0180), VEGF (P = 0.0052 to P = 0.0243) and Ang-1 mRNA (P < 0.001 to P = 0.0382) expression. Among the stem cell phenotype markers, resveratrol 100 µM increased mRNA expression levels of Notch-1 (P < 0.001 to P = 0.0018), KLF-4 (P = 0.0011 to P = 0.0137), SOX-2 (P < 0.001 to P = 0.0070) and TERT (P < 0.001 to P = 0.0193) in both cell lines and primary cultures. The mRNA expression level of Snail-1 increased in the cell lines (P < 0.001 to P = 0.0087), whereas OCT-4 mRNA expression increased in St-T1b (P = 0.0396) and primary cultures (P = 0.0148). Vimentin mRNA expression showed a significant upregulation in primary cultures (P < 0.001). The expression of Msi-1 (P = 0.0145) and NANOG (P = 0.0080) decreased only in St-T1b cells.

Conclusion: Resveratrol showed inhibitory effects on cell behaviour related to the development of endometriosis by differentially affecting growth, apoptosis, migration and stem cell phenotype of endometrial and endometriotic cells in vitro.

Keywords: Endometrial cell primary culture; Endometriosis; Gene expression; Natural compounds; Resveratrol; Stem cells.

MeSH terms

  • Endometriosis* / pathology
  • Endometrium / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Resveratrol / pharmacology
  • Stromal Cells / metabolism


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Resveratrol