Science Update

New Study Explores the Influence of Resveratrol on Mast Cell Activation and Mitochondrial Function

Resveratrol (trans-3,4’,5-trihydroxystilbene) is a polyphenolic molecule found in grape skins, berries (such as blueberries and raspberries), and peanuts. It is known for its role in supporting a healthy response to oxidative stress and inflammation and for its support of cardiovascular and metabolic functions within the human body.

A recent umbrella review of the meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials aimed to provide insight into the actions of resveratrol in the clinical setting. The authors reported that supplementation with resveratrol may provide a clinically relevant influence on hemoglobin A1C in individuals with type 2 diabetes. They also reported that resveratrol may support healthy systolic and diastolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, fasting glucose concentration, and mean arterial pressure in this population.

Another recently published study aimed to deepen our scientific knowledge of the biochemical actions of resveratrol in relation to the human allergenic response. Resveratrol has been shown to suppress interelukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor-α expression in murine bone marrow-derived mast cells. It has also been found to attenuate beta-hexosaminidase and histamine release in the rat basophilic leukemia mast cell line, RBL-2H3. In human cells, resveratrol was shown to reduce eosinophilic degranulation and inhibit phosphorylation of protein kinases, p38, and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2).

In this study, mature human mast cells from intestinal tissue (hiMC) were isolated and an allergic response was induced. Treatment with resveratrol prior to allergenic stimulation was shown to influence the phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and mitochondrial signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3). STAT3 influences the electron transport chain, adenosine triphosphate production, and immunologically mediated degranulation of the RBL-2H3 mast cell line. In addition, resveratrol was shown to attenuate the expression of chemokines related to inflammatory and allergic responses, including Ccl2, Ccl3, CCl4, and Cxcl8 in hiMCs. It also phosphorylated other immunoglobulin E–dependent activated kinases, such as protein kinase B (also known as Akt) and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK).

Clinical trials in both children and adults have suggested that intranasal application of resveratrol in children and adults alleviated symptoms of allergic rhinitis, which indicates that further explorations of the actions of resveratrol on the body’s allergic response may be valuable. Future research of larger populations with varying serving sizes and long-term supplementation may provide insight for the support of resveratrol for human allergic responses. In the meantime, there is sufficient evidence to suggest that supplementation with resveratrol may support healthy metabolism, the cardiovascular system, and insulin sensitivity in individuals with type 2 diabetes.

By Colleen Ambrose, ND, MAT