Resveratrol induces mitochondrial biogenesis in endothelial cells

Anna Csiszar, Nazar Labinskyy, John T. Pinto, Praveen Ballabh, Hanrui Zhang, Gyorgy Losonczy, Kevin Pearson, Rafael De Cabo, Pal Pacher, Cuihua Zhang, Zoltan Ungvari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

383 Scopus citations


Pathways that regulate mitochondrial biogenesis are potential therapeutic targets for the amelioration of endothelial dysfunction and vascular disease. Resveratrol was shown to impact mitochondrial function in skeletal muscle and the liver, but its role in mitochondrial biogenesis in endothelial cells remains poorly defined. The present study determined whether resveratrol induces mitochondrial biogenesis in cultured human coronary arterial endothelial cells (CAECs). In CAECs resveratrol increased mitochondrial mass and mitochondrial DNA content, upregulated protein expression of electron transport chain constituents, and induced mitochondrial biogenesis factors (proliferator- activated receptor-coactivator-1α, nuclear respiratory factor-1, mitochondrial transcription factor A). Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) was induced, and endothelial nitric oxide (NO) synthase (eNOS) was upregulated in a SIRT1-dependent manner. Knockdown of SIRT1 (small interfering RNA) or inhibition of NO synthesis prevented resveratrol-induced mitochondrial biogenesis. In aortas of type 2 diabetic (db/db) mice impaired mitochondrial biogenesis was normalized by chronic resveratrol treatment, showing the in vivo relevance of our findings. Resveratrol increases mitochondrial content in endothelial cells via activating SIRT1. We propose that SIRT1, via a pathway that involves the upregulation of eNOS, induces mitochondrial biogenesis. Resveratrol induced mitochondrial biogenesis in the aortas of type 2 diabetic mice, suggesting the potential for new treatment approaches targeting endothelial mitochondria in metabolic diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H13-H20
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Diabetes
  • Endothelial dysfunction
  • Histone deacetylase
  • Obesity
  • Vasoprotection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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