, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 555–564 | Cite as

Resveratrol, but not dihydroresveratrol, induces premature senescence in primary human fibroblasts

  • Richard G. A. Faragher
  • Dominic G. A. Burton
  • Patricia Majecha
  • Noel S. Y. Fong
  • Terence Davis
  • Angela Sheerin
  • Elizabeth L. Ostler


Resveratrol, trans-3,5,4′-trihydroxystilbene, is a polyphenolic compound which has been reported to mimic the gene expression patterns seen in whole animals undergoing dietary restriction. The mechanism of action of resveratrol remains poorly understood, but modulation of both cellular proliferation and apoptosis has been proposed as important routes by which the molecule may exert its effects. This study reports the effects of both resveratrol and dihydroresveratrol (a primary in vivo metabolite) on the proliferative capacity of human primary fibroblasts. No generalised reduction in the growth fraction was observed when fibroblasts derived from three different tissues were treated with resveratrol at concentrations of 10 μm or less. However, concentrations above 25 μm produced a dose-dependent reduction in proliferation. This loss of the growth fraction was paralleled by an increase in the senescent fraction as determined by staining for senescence associated beta galactosidase and dose recovery studies conducted over a 7-day period. Entry into senescence in response to treatment with resveratrol could be blocked by a 30-min preincubation with the p38 MAP kinase inhibitor SB203580. No effects on proliferation were observed when cells were treated with dihydroresveratrol at concentrations of up to 100 μm.


Resveratrol Cellular senescence Ageing MRC5 HCA2 Ek1.Br p38 MAP kinase 



The authors would like to acknowledge the support of Research into Ageing, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, and the EPSRC/BBSRC Strategic Promotion of Ageing Research Capacity (SPARC) network. Also we would like to acknowledge the support of the Glen Foundation for Medical Research in addition to our other research sponsors.


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Copyright information

© American Aging Association 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard G. A. Faragher
    • 1
  • Dominic G. A. Burton
    • 2
  • Patricia Majecha
    • 1
  • Noel S. Y. Fong
    • 1
  • Terence Davis
    • 3
  • Angela Sheerin
    • 1
  • Elizabeth L. Ostler
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, Cockcroft BuildingUniversity of BrightonBrightonUK
  2. 2.Division of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, Department of MedicineUniversity of Miami, Miller School of MedicineMiamiUSA
  3. 3.Department of Pathology, School of MedicineUniversity of CardiffCardiffUK

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