Several observations suggest that wine consumption could have beneficial effects on health by preventing cardiovascular diseases. Apparently, ethanol is not the only component responsible for these effects, phenolic substances: tanins, flavonoids may have an important role. As these compounds are able to affect biological membranes, we investigated the effect of wine in vitro on two model membranes: the lysosomal membrane and the red cell membrane. The integrity of rat liver lysosomal membrane was assessed by measuring the latency of Nacetylglucosaminidase, a lysosomal enzyme, when the organelles are subjected to free radicals of oxygen in the presence of different concentrations of wine. The state of red cell membrane was followed by determining hemolysis caused by phospholipase C. Our results show that low concentrations of red wine prevent the deterioration of the membrane of lysosomes induced by oxygen free radicals generated by the xanthine-xanthine oxidase system and oppose hemolysis induced by treating red cells with Clostridium welchii phospholipase C. White wine is considerably less efficient. As similar effects can be obtained with some phenolic compounds, it is probable that the membrane protective effects of red wine that we describe, originate from its content in these substances.
AttachmentsNo supporting information for this article