Resveratrol, at concentrations attainable with moderate wine consumption, stimulates human platelet nitric oxide production
The mechanisms through which moderate wine consumption reduces ischemic cardiovascular events are not yet fully unraveled. Grape extracts or a mixture of the polyphenols contained in wine were previously shown to increase nitric oxide (NO); however, little information is available on the effect of resveratrol, one of the main polyphenols of wine, on platelet NO production. We assessed the effects of resveratrol, at the concentrations attainable after moderate wine intake, on platelet NO production and the mechanism of this activity. Twenty healthy volunteers were studied before and after 15 d of controlled white or red wine intake (300 mL/d). After wine intake, plasma resveratrol and the release of NO by stimulated platelets increased significantly. Resveratrol, at the concentrations detected in plasma after wine intake, was incubated in vitro with washed platelets and several variables related to NO production and to signal transduction were measured. Resveratrol in vitro enhanced significantly the production of NO by stimulated platelets, the activity of platelet NO synthase (NOS), phosphorylation of protein kinase B, an activator of the endothelial NOS (eNOS), and phosphorylation of vasodilator-activated protein (VASP), an expression of the biologic activity of NO in platelets. Simultaneously, we observed decreased phosphorylation of P38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38MAPK), a proinflammatory pathway in human platelets, a reduction of the activity of NADPH oxidase, a major source of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and of the generation of O(2)(-) radicals, as detected by cytochrome C reduction. In conclusion, resveratrol, at concentrations attainable after moderate wine intake, activates platelet eNOS and in this way blunts the proinflammatory pathway linked to p38MAPK, thus inhibiting ROS production and ultimately platelet function. This activity may contribute to the beneficial effects of moderate wine intake on ischemic cardiovascular disease.