Suppression of angiogenesis, tumor growth, and wound healing by resveratrol, a natural compound in red wine and grapes

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The FASEB Journal express article 10.1096/fj.01-0028fje. Published online June 8, 2001.
Suppression of angiogenesis, tumor growth,and wound
healing by resveratrol, a natural compound in red wine and

Ebba Bråkenhielm,* Renhai Cao,* and Yihai Cao
The first two authors contributed equally to this work.
Corresponding author: Yihai Cao, M.D., Ph.D., Laboratory of Angiogenesis Research,
Microbiology and Tumor Biology Center, Karolinska Institute, S-171 77 Stockholm, Sweden. Email:

Resveratrol (3,5,4'-trihydroxystilbene) is a natural compound found in several plants, including
grapes, peanuts, and pines, and in their related products. Red wine is probably the most
frequently consumed drink that is enriched in resveratrol. We investigated whether drinking
resveratrol could suppress angiogenesis, a process of blood vessel growth involved in initiation,
development, and progression of many diseases, including cancer, metastasis, and diabetic
retinopathy. We found that resveratrol suppresses the growth of new blood vessels in animals.
It directly inhibits capillary endothelial cell growth. It blocks both VEGF- and FGF-receptormediated
angiogenic responses. In addition, resveratrol inhibits the phosphorylation of mitogenactivated
kinase isoforms (MAPKp44/MAPKp42) induced by fibroblast growth factor-2 in
proliferating endothelial cells in a dose-dependent manner. Oral administration of resveratrol
significantly inhibits the growth of a murine fibrosarcoma in mice, and it significantly delays
angiogenesis-dependent wound healing in mice. Our findings suggest that ingestion of
resveratrol-enriched food could be beneficial for the prevention of cancer. However, its
antiangiogenic effect could delay wound healing and possibly other angiogenesis-dependent
processes under physiological conditions.
Key words: resveratrol • red wine • cancer • angiogenesis • MAP kinase