Affiliation: Department of Pharmacology, University Medical Center, Johannes Gutenberg University, Obere Zahlbacher Str. 67, 55131 Mainz, Germany.
Resveratrol (3,5,4'-trihydroxy-trans-stilbene) possesses multiple protective properties in the vasculature, including anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects and improvement of endothelial function. A substantial part of these effects is attributable to gene expression changes induced by the compound. Resveratrol can activate the NAD-dependent deacetylase sirtuin 1 (SIRT1), leading to deacetylation of SIRT1 target molecules such as NF-kB and forkhead box O (FOXO) transcription factors. The inhibition of NF-kB by resveratrol reduces the expression of inflammation mediators. FOXO factors are implicated in the upregulation of antioxidant enzymes and the endothelial-type nitric oxide synthase. In addition, resveratrol upregulates a number of antioxidant enzymes by activating nuclear factor-E2-related factor-2 (Nrf2) and downregulates NADPH oxidases through yet known mechanisms.