Red wine prevents homocysteine-induced endothelial dysfunction in porcine coronary arteries

Weiping Fu, Brian S. Conklin, Peter H. Lin, Alan B. Lumsden, Qizhi Yao, Changyi Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Background. Hyperhomocysteinemia is an independent risk factor of coronary artery disease. Clinical studies have indicated that moderate red wine consumption is associated with a reduction of incidence of coronary artery disease. In this study, we determined the effect of red wine on homocysteine- induced endothelial dysfunction in porcine coronary arteries. Materials and methods. Porcine coronary arteries were dissected from 6 pig hearts and cut into 5-mm ring segments, which were assigned into 4 groups (9 rings/group): blank control, homocysteine treated (50 μM), red wine treated (0.08% alcohol), and homocysteine plus red wine treated. The rings were cultured in cell culture medium with or without treatment for 24 h. Myograph analysis was performed with U46619 (10-7 M) for contraction and cumulative bradykinin (10-9 to 10-5 M) for endothelium-dependent relaxation. The endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) levels were analyzed by RT-PCR, Western blot, and immunohistochemistry. Results. In response to 10-5 M bradykinin, porcine coronary artery rings treated with homocysteine (50 μM) showed a significant reduction of endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation by 43% as compared to controls (P < 0.05). However, rings treated with red wine (0.08% alcohol) plus homocysteine showed no significant difference as compared to controls. Endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation was not different between control and red wine treated groups. Furthermore, eNOS mRNA density levels were significantly reduced by 36% in homocysteine treated group as compared to controls (P < 0.05). eNOS protein levels were also substantially reduced in the homocysteine-treated group. However, red wine treatment reversed the effect of homocysteine-induced eNOS downregulation. Conclusions. Homocysteine significantly impaired endothelial functions including endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation and eNOS mRNA and protein levels in porcine coronary arteries; and red wine effectively prevented homocysteine-induced endothelial dysfunction. This study suggests that protecting coronary endothelial cells from homocysteine damage may be an important mechanism of red wine for preventing coronary artery disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)82-91
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 2003


  • Coronary arteries
  • Endothelial dysfunction
  • Homocysteine
  • Porcine
  • Red wine
  • Vasomotor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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