Effects of the wine polyphenolics quercetin and resveratrol on pro-inflammatory cytokine expression in RAW 264.7 macrophages

Teri L. Wadsworth, Dennis R. Koop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

299 Scopus citations


The beneficial effects of moderate red wine consumption have been attributed, in part, to the presence of antioxidant components. Oxidant stress is an activating stimulus for the NF (nuclear factor)-κB/Rel family of transcription factors, which have binding sites in the promoter regions of many genes involved in inflammatory and immune responses. The effect of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated activation of NF-κB and the subsequent production of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and NO was determined in the macrophage cell line RAW 264.7. Unexpectedly, the wine polyphenolics quercetin and resveratrol and the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC) did not inhibit LPS-induced activation of the NF-κB complex p50/65, as determined by mobility shift. Quercetin inhibited LPS-induced p50/50. Northern blot analysis indicated that quercetin (0.1 and 0.2 mM) inhibited LPS-dependent production of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) mRNA and decreased NO release, as measured by the Griess reaction. This flavonoid had no effect on LPS-induced TNF-α mRNA, but decreased LPS-stimulated TNF-α release, as measured by ELISA. Resveratrol (0.05 and 0.1 mM) posttranscriptionally decreased LPS-induced nitrite release. It increased basal levels of TNF-α mRNA and protein and enhanced LPS-induced TNF-α mRNA and cytokine release. Our results do not support the view that wine antioxidants inhibit LPS-induced NF-κB activation but instead that they have a more selective action on genes activated by LPS. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)941-949
Number of pages9
JournalBiochemical Pharmacology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 15 1999


  • Macrophages
  • NF-κB
  • Nitric oxide
  • Quercetin
  • Resveratrol
  • Tumor necrosis factor alpha

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Pharmacology


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