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      Phytoestrogen Resveratrol Suppresses Steroidogenesis by Rat Adrenocortical Cells by Inhibiting Cytochrome P450 c21-Hydroxylase

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          Background and Aim: The phytoestrogen resveratrol is found in grapes, mulberries and peanuts, all of which are consumed regularly by humans. Resveratrol is also used in chemotherapy against cancer and aging and as a cardioprotectant. The aim of the present study was to characterize the effects of resveratrol on rat adrenal steroidogenesis and to study the underlying mechanism. Methods: Adrenocortical cells were isolated from the adrenal glands of normal male rats (in vitro) and from male rats administered resveratrol in their diet for 12 weeks (ex vivo). Cells from resveratrol-treated and non-treated rats were tested ex vivo for responsiveness to ACTH and cells from normal rats were tested in vitro for responsiveness to ACTH in the presence and absence of resveratrol. Corticosterone and progesterone production were measured by RIA and expression of steroidogenic enzymes analyzed by PAGE/Western blotting. Results: Corticosterone production was inhibited 47% by 50 µ M resveratrol in vitro and 20% ex vivo, while progesterone production was elevated to 400% of the control value in in vitro experiments. Resveratrol treatment decreased adrenal cytochrome P450 c21-hydroxylase expression in vivo and cell culture conditions. No changes in cell viability or morphology were caused by exposure to resveratrol in both ex vivo and in vitro experiments. Conclusion: Resveratrol suppresses corticosterone production by primary rat adrenocortical cell cultures in vitro and ex vivo by inhibiting cytochrome P450 c21-hydroxylase.

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          Most cited references 17

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          Biological effects of resveratrol.

           L Frémont (2000)
          Resveratrol (3, 4', 5 trihydroxystilbene) is a naturally occuring phytoalexin produced by some spermatophytes, such as grapevines, in response to injury. Given that it is present in grape berry skins but not in flesh, white wine contains very small amounts of resveratrol, compared to red wine. The concentrations in the form of trans- and cis- isomers of aglycone and glucosides are subjected to numerous variables. In red wine, the concentrations of the trans-isomer, which is the major form, generally ranges between 0.1 and 15 mg/L. As phenolic compound, resveratrol contributes to the antioxidant potential of red wine and thereby may play a role in the prevention of human cardiovascular diseases. Resveratrol has been shown to modulate the metabolism of lipids, and to inhibit the oxidation of low-density lipoproteins and the aggregation of platelets. Moreover, as phytoestrogen, resveratrol may provide cardiovascular protection. This compound also possesses anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties. However, the bioavailability and metabolic pathways must be known before drawing any conclusions on the benefits of dietary resveratrol to health.
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            Resveratrol as an anti-inflammatory and anti-aging agent: mechanisms and clinical implications.

            Resveratrol is a phytoalexin polyphenolic compound found in various plants, including grapes, berries, and peanuts. Multiple lines of compelling evidence indicate its beneficial effects on neurological, hepatic, and cardiovascular systems. Also one of the most striking biological activities of resveratrol soundly investigated during the late years has been its cancer-chemopreventive potential. In fact, recently it has been demonstrated that this stilbene blocks the multistep process of carcinogenesis at various stages: tumor initiation, promotion, and progression. One of the possible mechanisms for its biological activities involves downregulation of the inflammatory response through inhibition of synthesis and release of pro-inflammatory mediators, modification of eicosanoid synthesis, inhibition of activated immune cells, or inhibiting such as inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) via its inhibitory effects on nuclear factor (kappa)B (NF-(kappa)B) or the activator protein-1 (AP-1). More recent data provide interesting insights into the effect of this compound on the lifespan of yeast and flies, implicating the potential of resveratrol as an anti-aging agent in treating age-related human diseases. It is worthy to note that the phenolic compound possesses a low bioavailability and rapid clearance from the plasma. As the positive effects of resveratrol on inflammatory response regulation may comprise relevant clinical implications, the purpose of this article is to review its strong anti-inflammatory activity and the plausible mechanisms of these effects. Also, this review is intended to provide the reader an up-date of the bioavailability and pharmacokinetics of resveratrol and its impact on lifespan.
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              Metabolism and disposition of resveratrol in rats: extent of absorption, glucuronidation, and enterohepatic recirculation evidenced by a linked-rat model.

              Pharmacokinetics of trans-resveratrol in its aglycone (RES(AGL)) and glucuronide (RES(GLU)) forms were studied following intravenous (15 mg/kg i.v.) and oral (50 mg/kg p.o.) administration of trans-resveratrol in a solution of beta-cyclodextrin to intact rats. In addition, the enterohepatic recirculation of RES(AGL) and RES(GLU) was assessed in a linked-rat model. Multiple plasma and urine samples were collected and concentrations of RES(AGL) and RES(GLU) were determined using an electrospray ionization-liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry method. After i.v. administration, plasma concentrations of RES(AGL) declined with a rapid elimination half-life (T(1/2), 0.13 h), followed by sudden increases in plasma concentrations 4 to 8 h after drug administration. These plasma concentrations resulted in a significant prolongation of the terminal elimination half-life of RES(AGL) (T(1/2TER), 1.31 h). RES(AGL) and RES(GLU) also displayed sudden increases in plasma concentrations 4 to 8 h after oral administration, with T(1/2TER) of 1.48 and 1.58 h, respectively. RES(AGL) bioavailability was 38% and its exposure was approximately 46-fold lower than that of RES(GLU) (AUC(inf), 7.1 versus 324.7 micromol.h/l). Enterohepatic recirculation was confirmed in the linked-rat model since significant plasma concentrations of RES(AGL) and RES(GLU) were observed in bile-recipient rats at 4 to 8 h. The percentages of the exposures of RES(AGL) and RES(GLU) that were due to enterohepatic recirculation were 24.7 and 24.0%, respectively. The fraction of drug excreted in the urine over a period of 12 h was negligible. These results confirm that RES(AGL) is bioavailable and undergoes extensive first-pass glucuronidation, and that enterohepatic recirculation contributes significantly to the exposure of RES(AGL) and RES(GLU) in rats.

                Author and article information

                Horm Res Paediatr
                Hormone Research in Paediatrics
                S. Karger AG
                December 2005
                05 December 2005
                : 64
                : 6
                : 280-286
                aPediatric Endocrinology Unit, Q 2:08, Department of Woman and Child Health, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden; bAbteilung für Klinische und Experimentelle Endokrinologie, Universitäts-Frauenklinik, Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen, Germany
                89487 Horm Res 2005;64:280–286
                © 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                Page count
                Figures: 5, References: 26, Pages: 7
                Original Paper


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