Resveratrol (RSV) is a polyphenolic phytoalexin found in peanuts, grapes, and other plants. Uterine fibroids (UF) are benign growths that are enriched in extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins. In this study, we aimed to investigate the effects of RSV on UF using in vivo and in vitro approaches. In mouse xenograft models, tumors were implanted through the subcutaneous injection of Eker rat-derived uterine leiomyoma cells transfected with luciferase (ELT-3-LUC) in five-week-old female nude (Foxn1nu) mice. When the tumors reached a size of 50-100 mm3, the mice were randomly assigned to intraperitoneal treatment with RSV (10 mg·kg-1) or vehicle control (dimethyl sulfoxide). Tumor tissues were assayed using an immunohistochemistry analysis. We also used primary human leiomyoma cells as in vitro models. Cell viability was determined using the sodium bicarbonate and 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. The protein expression was assayed using Western blot analysis. The messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) expression was assayed using quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). Cell apoptosis was assayed using Annexin V-fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) and propidium iodide (PI) and Hoechst 33342 staining. RSV significantly suppressed tumor growth in vivo and decreased the proportion of cells showing expression of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA). In addition, RSV decreased the protein expression of PCNA, fibronectin, and upregulated the ratio of Bax (Bcl-2-associated X) and Bcl-2 (B-cell lymphoma/leukemia 2) in vivo. Furthermore, RSV reduced leiomyoma cell viability, and decreased the mRNA levels of fibronectin and the protein expression of collagen type 1 (COL1A1) and α-SMA (ECM protein marker), as well as reducing the levels of β-catenin protein. RSV induced apoptosis and cell cycle arrest at sub-G1 phase. Our findings indicated the inhibitory effects of RSV on the ELT-3-LUC xenograft model and indicated that RSV reduced ECM-related protein expression in primary human leiomyoma cells, demonstrating its potential as an anti-fibrotic therapy for UF.
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