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Effect of quercetin on paraoxonase 1 activity – studies in cultured cells, mice and humans

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Christine Bosch-Saadatmandi


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There is increasing evidence that the HDL-associated enzyme paraoxonase 1 (PON1) may have a protective function in the atherosclerotic process. An enhancement of PON1 activity by dietary factors including flavonoids is therefore of interest. Quercetin, a flavonol frequently present in fruits and vegetables has been shown to induce PON1 in cultured liver cells, but the in vivo efficacy of a dietary quercetin supplementation has yet not been evaluated. To this end, we fed laboratory mice quercetin-enriched diets with quercetin concentrations ranging from 0.05 to 2 mg/g diet for 6 weeks and determined the expression of the hepatic PON1 gene and its protein levels. Since we could establish a moderate but significant induction of PON1 mRNA levels by dietary quercetin in mice, we aimed to proof whether healthy human volunteers, given graded supplementary quercetin (50, 100 or 150 mg/day) for two weeks, would respond with likewise enhanced plasma paraoxonase activities. However, PON1 activity towards phenylacetate and paraoxon was not changed following quercetin supplementation in humans. Differences between mice and humans regarding the PON1 inducing activity of quercetin may be related to differences in quercetin metabolism. In mice, unlike in humans, a large proportion of quercetin is methylated to isorhamnetin which exhibits, according to our reporter gene data in cultured liver cells, a potent PON1 inducing activity.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Boesch-Saadatmandi C, Egert S, Schrader C, Coumoul X, Barouki R, Mueller MJ, Wolffram S, Rimbach G

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology

Year: 2010

Volume: 61

Issue: 1

Pages: 99-105

Print publication date: 01/02/2010

ISSN (print): 0867-5910

ISSN (electronic): 1899-1505

Publisher: Polskie Towarzystwo Fizjologiczne