Physiol. Res. 52: 425-432, 2003

Red Wine Polyphenols Induce Vasorelaxation by Increased Nitric Oxide Bioactivity


Institute of Normal and Pathological Physiology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovak Republic and 1Pharmacologie et Physico-Chimie des Interactions Cellulaires et Moléculaires, Faculté de Pharmacie, Université Louis Pasteur de Strasbourg, URA CNRS 7034, Illkirch, France

Received  May 16, 2002
Accepted September 23, 2002

The aim of the present study was to investigate the mechanism of vasorelaxant responses induced by red wine polyphenolic compounds (Provinol). Rings of rat femoral artery with or without functional endothelium were set up in a myograph for isometric recording and precontracted with phenylephrine (10-5 M). Provinol in cumulative doses (10-9 to 10-3 mg/ml) elicited endothelium- and dose-dependent relaxation of the artery with maximal relaxation of 56 % at the concentration of 10-5 mg/ml. The relaxant responses to Provinol correlated well with the increase of NO synthase activity in the vascular tissue after administration of cumulative doses of Provinol (10-9 to 10-3 mg/ml). NG-nitro-L-arginine methylester (L-NAME, 3x10-4 M) significantly attenuated the endothelium-dependent relaxation produced by Provinol. Administration of L-arginine (3x10-5 M) restored the relaxation inhibited by L-NAME. The relaxant responses of Provinol were abolished in the presence of Ca2+-entry blocker, verapamil (10-6 M). Administration of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) abolished acetylcholine (10-5 M)-induced relaxation of the rat femoral artery, while administration of Provinol (10-5 mg/ml) together with H2O2 helped to maintain the acetylcholine-induced relaxation. Provinol only partially affected the concentration-response curve for the NO donor sodium nitroprusside-induced relaxation in rings without endothelium. In conclusion, Provinol elicited endothelium-dependent relaxation of rat femoral artery by the Ca2+-induced increase of NO synthase activity and by protecting NO from degradation.

Key words
Red wine polyphenolic compounds • Nitric oxide • Free oxygen radicals • Endothelium • Femoral artery

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O. Pecháňová, Ph.D., Institute of Normal and Pathological Physiology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Sienkiewiczova 1, 813 71 Bratislava, Slovak Republic. E-mail:

© 2003 by the Institute of Physiology, Czech Academy of Sciences