In the fields of nutrition prevention and therapy treatment, numerous studies have reported interesting properties of trans-resveratrol (RSV), a natural polyphenol against pathologies such as vascular diseases, cancers, viral infections and neurodegenerative processes. These beneficial effects are supported by more studies showing the pleiotropic actions of RSV. Nevertheless, a crucial question concerning these effects is how the polyphenol, when applied to an organism, gains access to its targets. In this review, we focus on the biochemical and biological parameters involved in RSV transport, particularly the role of the phospholipid bilayer in RSV uptake (passive diffusion, carrier-mediated transport) and of exogenous molecules modulating RSV transport and effects. The dynamic processes of the plasma membrane reveal the importance of the role of lipid composition in the fluidity, the lipid rafts in RSV endocytosis and the ATP-binding cassette transporters in RSV efflux. Specific membrane receptors such as integrin αvβ3 contribute to RSV uptake and to activate signalling pathways involved in apoptosis. We discuss the role of intracellular receptors (i.e. aryl-hydrocarbon and estrogen receptors). In addition, circulating molecules (i.e. albumin, haemoglobin, fatty acids, lipoproteins) play a role as RSV carriers. Finally, we developed a hypothesis concerning the relation between RSV uptake and its biological activities.
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