Regular consumption of red wine reduces mortality from coronary heart disease. This observation has been attributed to the anti-thrombotic effects of ethanol and to the antioxidant properties of polyphenolic compounds present in red wine. Here we show that an extract of red wine polyphenols causes a concentration-dependent inhibition of endothelin-1 synthesis in cultured bovine aortic endothelial cells. This action was associated with modifications in phosphotyrosine staining, indicating that the active components of red wine cause specific modifications of tyrosine kinase signalling. Thus inhibition of endothelin-1 synthesis by red wine may reduce the development of atherosclerosis, and hence decrease coronary heart disease.

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