Profound negative regulatory effects by resveratrol on vascular smooth muscle cells: A role of p53-p21WAF1/CIP1 pathway

Zakar H. Mnjoyan, Ken Fujise

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


We investigated the role of resveratrol, a polyphenol rich in red wine, in cell cycle progression and apoptosis of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). Resveratrol inhibited the growth of human aortic VSMCs at concentrations as low as 1μM. This was due to the profound dose-dependent inhibition of DNA synthesis by resveratrol. DNA synthesis was more effectively inhibited when cells were pretreated with resveratrol. Resveratrol caused a dose-dependent increase in intracellular p53 and p21WAF1/CIP1 levels. At lower concentrations (6.25-12.5μM), resveratrol effectively blocked cell cycle progression of serum-stimulated VSMCs without inducing apoptosis, while the higher concentration of resveratrol (25μM) selectively induced apoptosis in the same VSMCs. Intriguingly, however, the same high concentration of resveratrol could not induce apoptosis in quiescent VSMCs. These differential biological effects of resveratrol on quiescent and proliferating VSMCs suggest that resveratrol may be capable of selectively eliminating abnormally proliferating VSMCs of the arterial walls in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)546-552
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 14 2003


  • Atherosclerosis
  • French Paradox
  • Restenosis
  • Resveratrol
  • Smooth muscle cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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