Cardiovascular Drugs and Therapy

, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 119–131 | Cite as

Resveratrol Shows Vasoprotective Effect Reducing Oxidative Stress Without Affecting Metabolic Disturbances in Insulin-dependent Diabetes of Rabbits

  • Fatma AkarEmail author
  • M. Bilgehan Pektas
  • Can Tufan
  • Selen Soylemez
  • Aylin Sepici
  • A. Tulga Ulus
  • Burcu Gokalp
  • Kamile Ozturk
  • H. Selcuk Surucu



Resveratrol has been shown to have vasoprotective effects by upregulating oxidative defense mechanisms in a variety of pathophysiological conditions. However, the effect of resveratrol on diabetic oxidative stress and vascular and metabolic abnormalities is not completely understood. Therefore, this study was designed to evaluate whether long-term resveratrol supplementation has a protective effect on vascular function and integrity in association with metabolic parameters and oxidative stress in insulin-dependent diabetes.


Diabetes was induced in rabbits with alloxan and maintained for 8 weeks. We used a resveratrol dose of 5 mg/L (10 weeks, starting 14 days before alloxan injection) and 50 mg/L (8 or 10 weeks, starting concomitantly or 14 days before alloxan injection) in the drinking water of rabbits.


Relaxation to acetylcholine was impaired (control 75.6 ± 3.59%, versus diabetic 42.23 ± 2.53%) and contractions to phenylephrine increased (control 136.89 ± 2.27%, versus diabetic 159.37 ± 6.27%) in aortas from diabetic animals. These changes were associated with increased basal or NAD(P)H-induced superoxide production, as well as lipid peroxide and superoxide dismutase (SOD) levels in the aortic samples. The maximal relaxation to acetylcholine improved by 75.74 ± 9.04% in diabetic rabbits treated with resveratrol. The increased contractions to phenylephrine were not restored to control values after resveratrol treatments, but sensitivity to the contractions tended to decrease. Resveratrol increased nitrite/nitrate levels and suppressed basal or NAD(P)H-induced superoxide production and lipid peroxide levels in the aortas. Importantly, resveratrol increased serum insulin levels without affecting blood glucose and the lipid profile in diabetic rabbits. Using electron microscopic examinations, resveratrol was found to markedly protect the endothelial integrity from diabetes.


Overall, there was no noticeable difference between resveratrol treatment groups on the recovery from diabetes. Our results indicate that resveratrol alleviates type 1 diabetes-induced vasculopathy by decreasing vascular oxidative stress and thereby increasing the bioavailability of nitric oxide without changing metabolic abnormalities.

Key words

Resveratrol Endothelial and vascular function Superoxide Nitric oxide Insulin Alloxan Diabetic rabbits 



This study was supported by a grant from TUBITAK 2008, Project No: 105 S431.

Conflict of interest

The authors state no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fatma Akar
    • 1
    • 6
    Email author
  • M. Bilgehan Pektas
    • 1
  • Can Tufan
    • 1
  • Selen Soylemez
    • 1
  • Aylin Sepici
    • 2
  • A. Tulga Ulus
    • 3
  • Burcu Gokalp
    • 1
  • Kamile Ozturk
    • 4
  • H. Selcuk Surucu
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of PharmacyGazi UniversityEtilerTurkey
  2. 2.Faculty of MedicineGazi UniversityBesevlerTurkey
  3. 3.Department of Cardiovascular SurgeryTürkiye Yuksek Ihtisas Hospital Cardiovascular Surgery ClinicsAnkaraTurkey
  4. 4.Department of Molecular Biology, Faculty of ScienceAksaray UniversityAksarayTurkey
  5. 5.Department of Anatomy, Faculty of MedicineHacettepe UniversityAnkaraTurkey
  6. 6.Eczacılık Fakültesi, Farmakoloji Anabilim DalıGazi UniversitesiEtilerTurkey

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