A Dietary Resveratrol-Rich Grape Extract Prevents the Developing of Atherosclerotic Lesions in the Aorta of Pigs Fed an Atherogenic Diet

ABSTRACT: The presence of grape and wine polyphenol resveratrol (RES) in the diet is negligible. Therefore, the cardiovascular benefits of this molecule, in a dietary context, remain to be established. We aimed to investigate, through dietary intervention, the effects of a resveratrol-rich grape extract (GE-RES) on the prevention of early aortic lesions in pigs fed an atherogenic diet (AD). These effects were compared with those produced by a grape extract lacking RES (GE) or RES alone. Pigs fed the AD for 4 months showed early atherosclerotic lesions in the thoracic aorta: degeneration and fragmentation of elastic fibers, increase of intima thickness, subendothelial fibrosis, and accumulation of fatty cells and anion superoxide radicals. GE-RES was the most effective treatment and prevented the disruption of aortic elastic fibers, decreased their alteration (57%), and reduced the intima thickness (33%) and the accumulation of fatty cells (42%) and O2•− (38%) in aortic tissue. In addition, GE- RES moderately downregulated the expression of the suppressors of cytokine signaling 1 (SOCS1) and 3 (SOCS3), key regulators of vascular cell responses, in peripheral mononuclear blood cells. Our results suggest that the consumption of this GE- RES nutraceutical, in a dietary prevention context, could prevent early atherosclerotic events. The presence of RES in the grape extract strengthened these effects.
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