Resveratrol (Res) and its two natural analogs that are also related to Res metabolism, piceatannol (Pic) and 3,5,4′-trans-trimethoxystilbene (TMS), were compared in their ability to suppress lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced production of proinflammatory tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and to induce anti-inflammatory heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) expression in RAW264.7 macrophages. At non-cytotoxic concentrations, they differentially suppressed LPS-induced production of TNF-α and IL-1β; the relative potency for suppression of TNF-α and IL-1β production was Pic > Res > TMS. Res and Pic differentially induced HO-1 expression; Pic, which possesses four hydroxyl groups, was more active in inducing HO-1 expression than Res that contains three hydroxyl groups. TMS, which has none of hydroxyl groups, failed to induce HO-1 expression. These findings suggest that the hydroxyl groups of Res analogs are important for suppression of TNF-α and IL-1β production and HO-1 expression. Interestingly, protoporphyrin-IX, a competitive inhibitor of HO-1 activity, partly attenuated the inhibitory effects of Res and Pic (but not TMS) on TNF-α and IL-1β production, suggesting that suppression of TNF-α and IL-1β production correlates at least in part with HO-1 expression. Overall, the ability of Res analogs to induce HO-1 expression may provide one of possible mechanisms of their anti-inflammatory action. © 2013 BioFactors, 40(1):138–145, 2014.