background: resveratrol protects the cardiovascular system by a number of mechanisms, including antioxidant and anti-platelet activities. objective: to assess the potential anti-inflammatory and antiatherogenic effects of resveratrol using rabbits fed a hypercholesterolemic diet (1% cholesterol). methods: twenty white male rabbits were selected and divided into two groups: control group (cg), 10 rabbits; and resveratrol group (rg), 10 rabbits. the animals were fed a hypercholesterolemic diet for 56 days. for the rg diet, resveratrol (2mg/kg weight/day) was added from days 33 - 56. results: there was no significant difference in the total serum cholesterol, hdl-cholesterol, ldl-cholesterol, and triglycerides between the groups. of the cg, 70% had advanced aortic atherosclerotic lesions (types iii, iv, v, or vi). all animals from the rg had mild aortic atherosclerotic lesions (types i or ii, or no lesions). the intima area and the intima/media layer area ratio was significantly lower in the rg as compared to the cg (p<0.001). positive areas for vcam-1 molecules were lower in the rg (p=0.007). the mcp-1 and il-6 concentrations were lower in the rg than the cg (p=0.039 and p=0.015, respectively). conclusion: resveratrol had significant anti-atherogenic and anti-inflammatory effects in an animal model with rabbits fed a hypercholesterolemic diet (1% cholesterol).