Our aim was to investigate whether trans-resveratrol (t-resveratrol), a red wine constituent known for its cardioprotective effects, was able to influence CD40 ligand (CD40L) and its receptor CD40 in platelets of hypercholesterolemic rats. Sixty Wistar rats were divided into 5 groups: control (C), ethanol (E), t-resveratrol (R), hypercholesterolemia (HC), and hypercholesterolemia plus t-resveratrol (HCR). Rats in the C, E, and R groups were fed a normal diet for 80 days. For 20 days before sacrifice, we intraperitoneally (i.p.) administered 0.1 mL ethanol (50% v/v) to the E group, and 0.1 mL t-resveratrol (20 mg(.)kg(-1.)day(-1)) to the R group. Rats in the HC and HCR groups were fed a 5% cholesterol diet for 80 days. Rats in the HCR group were administered i.p. 0.1 mL t-resveratrol (20 mg(.)kg(-1.)day(-1)) for 20 days before sacrifice. Serum levels of total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein (LDL-C), high-density lipoprotein (HDL-C), very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL-C), and total triglycerides (TG) were assayed with a commercial colorimetric kit. Platelet P-selectin, CD40, and CD40L expression was determined by flow cytometry. sCD40L and IL6 levels were measured by ELISA. In the HC group, we observed a significant increase in serum TC, LDL-C, VLDL-C, TG, sCD40, and IL-6 levels and platelet activation markers compared with levels in the control group. However, t-resveratrol administration to the HC group (HCR group) attenuated the increase in lipids, sCD40, and IL-6 and down-regulated platelet P-selectin, CD40, and CD40L expressions. A positive correlation was found for serum lipids and all the platelet activation markers. Our study showed that the CD40-CD40L dyad is up-regulated in the presence of hypercholesterolemia and that t-resveratrol administration down-regulated the increase.