Resveratrol counters systemic lupus erythematosus-associated atherogenicity by normalizing cholesterol efflux

Iryna Voloshyna, Isaac Teboul, Michael J. Littlefield, Nicolle M. Siegart, George K. Turi, Melissa J. Fazzari, Steven E. Carsons, Joshua DeLeon, Allison B. Reiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Resveratrol is a bioactive molecule used in dietary supplements and herbal medicines and consumed worldwide. Numerous investigations by our group and others have indicated cardioprotective and anti-inflammatory properties of resveratrol. The present study explored potential atheroprotective actions of resveratrol on cholesterol efflux in cultured human macrophages exposed to plasma from systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients. These results were confirmed in ApoE−/−Fas−/− double knockout mice, displaying a lupus profile with accelerated atherosclerosis. Resveratrol treatment attenuated atherosclerosis in these mice. THP-1 human macrophages were exposed to 10% pooled or individual plasma from patients who met diagnostic criteria for SLE. Expression of multiple proteins involved in reverse cholesterol transport (ABCA1, ABCG1, SR-B1, and cytochrome P450 27-hydroxylase) was assessed using QRT-PCR and Western blotting techniques. Ten-week-old ApoE−/−Fas−/− double knockout mice (n = 30) were randomly divided into two equal groups of 15, one of which received 0.01% resveratrol for 10 consecutive weeks. Atherosclerosis progression was evaluated in murine aortas. Bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDM) were cultured and expression of cholesterol efflux proteins was analyzed in each group of mice. Our data indicate that inhibition of cholesterol efflux by lupus plasma in THP-1 human macrophages is rescued by resveratrol. Similarly, administration of resveratrol in a lupus-like murine model reduces plaque formation in vivo and augments cholesterol efflux in BMDM. This study presents evidence for a beneficial role of resveratrol in atherosclerosis in the specific setting of SLE. Therefore, resveratrol may merit investigation as an additional resource available to reduce lipid deposition and atherosclerosis in humans, especially in such vulnerable populations as lupus patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1611-1619
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number14
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • atherosclerosis
  • bone marrow-derived macrophages
  • cholesterol transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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