Background: Little information is currently available concerning the relative contribution of cardiac parenchymal and stromal cells in the activation of the pro-inflammatory signal cascade, at the initial stages of diabetes. Similarly, the effects of early resveratrol (RSV) treatment on the negative impact of diabetes on the different myocardial cell compartments remain to be defined. Methods: In vitro challenge of neonatal cardiomyocytes and fibroblasts to high glucose and in vivo/ex vivo experiments on a rat model of Streptozotocin-induced diabetes were used to specifically address these issues. Results: In vitro data indicated that, besides cardiomyocytes, neonatal fibroblasts contribute to generating initial changes in the myocardial environment, in terms of pro-inflammatory cytokine expression. These findings were mostly confirmed at the myocardial tissue level in diabetic rats, after three weeks of hyperglycemia. Specifically, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 and Fractalkine were up-regulated and initial abnormalities in cardiomyocyte contractility occurred. At later stages of diabetes, a selective enhancement of pro-inflammatory macrophage M1 phenotype and a parallel reduction of anti-inflammatory macrophage M2 phenotype were associated with a marked disorganization of cardiomyocyte ultrastructural properties. RSV treatment inhibited pro-inflammatory cytokine production, leading to a recovery of cardiomyocyte contractile efficiency and a reduced inflammatory cell recruitment. Conclusion: Early RSV administration could inhibit the pro-inflammatory diabetic milieu sustained by different cardiac cell types.
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