Resveratrol alters the lipid composition, metabolism and peroxide level in senescent rat hepatocytes

Albena Momchilova, Diana Petkova, Galya Staneva, Tania Markovska, Roumen Pankov, Ralica Skrobanska, Mariana Nikolova-Karakashian, Kamen Koumanov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Investigations were performed on the influence of resveratrol on the lipid composition, metabolism, fatty acid and peroxide level in plasma membranes of hepatocytes, isolated from aged rats. Hepatocytes were chosen due to the central role of the liver in lipid metabolism and homeostasis. The obtained results showed that the level of sphingomyelin (SM) and phosphatidylserine (PS) was augmented in plasma membranes of resveratrol-treated senescent hepatocytes. The saturated/unsaturated fatty acids ratio of the two most abundant membrane phospholipids, phosphatidylcholine (PC) and phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), was decreased as a result of resveratrol treatment. The neutral sphingomyelinase was found to be responsible for the increase of SM and the decrease of ceramide in plasma membranes of resveratrol-treated senescent hepatocytes. Using labeled acetate as a precursor of lipid synthesis we demonstrated, that resveratrol treatment resulted in inhibition mainly of phospholipid synthesis, followed by fatty acids synthesis. Resveratrol induced reduction of specific membrane-associated markers of apoptosis such as localization of PS in the external plasma membrane monolayer and ceramide level. Finally, the content of lipid peroxides was investigated, because the unsaturated fatty acids, which were augmented as a result of resveratrol treatment, are an excellent target of oxidative attack. The results showed that the lipid peroxide level was significantly lower, ROS were slightly reduced and GSH was almost unchanged in resveratrol-treated hepatocytes. We suggest, that one possible biochemical mechanism, underlying the reported resveratrol-induced changes, is the partial inactivation of neutral sphingomyelinase, leading to increase of SM, the latter acting as a native membrane antioxidant. In conclusion, our studies indicate that resveratrol treatment induces beneficial alterations in the phospholipid and fatty acid composition, as well as in the ceramide and peroxide content in plasma membranes of senescent hepatocytes. Thus, the presented results imply that resveratrol could improve the functional activity of the membrane lipids in the aged liver by influencing specific membrane parameters, associated with the aging process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-80
Number of pages7
JournalChemico-Biological Interactions
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 25 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was financially supported by the National Science Fund – Bulgarian Ministry of Education , Grant #DFNI-B01-5/2012 .


  • Aging
  • Hepatocytes
  • Membrane lipids
  • Oxidative stress
  • Resveratrol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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