Endogenous catecholamines such as adrenaline (A) and noradrenaline (NA) are released from the adrenal gland and sympathetic nervous system during exposure to stress. The adrenergic system plays a central role in stress signaling, and excessive stress was found to be associated with increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Overproduction of ROS induces oxidative damage in tissues and causes the development of diseases such as cancer. In this study, we investigated the effects of quercetin-3-O-glucuronide (Q3G), a circulating metabolite of quercetin, which is a type of natural flavonoid, on the catecholamine-induced ?2-adrenergic receptor (?2-AR)-mediated response in MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells expressing ?2-AR. Treatment with A or NA at concentrations above 1?M generated significant levels of ROS, and NA treatment induced the gene expression of heme oxygenase-1 (HMOX1), and matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) and -9 (MMP9). Inhibitors of p38 MAP kinase (SB203580), cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) (H-89), activator protein-1 (AP-1) transcription factor (SR11302), and NF-?B and AP-1 (Tanshinone IIA) decreased MMP2 and MMP9 gene expression. NA also enhanced cAMP induction, RAS activation and phosphorylation of ERK1/2. These results suggested that the cAMP-PKA, MAPK, and ROS-NF-?B pathways are involved in ?2-AR signaling. Treatment with 0.1?M Q3G suppressed ROS generation, cAMP and RAS activation, phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and the expression of HMOX1, MMP2, and MMP9 genes. Furthermore, Q3G (0.1?M) suppressed invasion of MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells and MMP-9 induction, and inhibited the binding of [(3)H]-NA to ?2-AR. These results suggest that Q3G may function to suppress invasion of breast cancer cells by controlling ?2-adrenergic signaling, and may be a dietary chemopreventive factor for stress-related breast cancer.
The gut microbiota is capable of the bioconversion of flavonoids whereas influences of probiotic anaerobes on the bioactivities of flavonoids and vice versa are still unclear. Here, we investigated functional interactions with respect to the anti-inflammatory activity between flavonols and probiotic bacteria. Ten enteric (6 probiotic and 4 indigenous) bacteria were incubated with flavonols (galangin, kaempferol, quercetin, myricetin, and fisetin) under anaerobic conditions, and the supernatants were assessed for their effects on nitric oxide (NO) production in lipopolysaccaride-stimulated RAW264 cells. Although the conditioned medium from the flavonol mono-culture and almost all of the tested co-cultures failed to inhibit NO production, the medium from the Bifidobacterium adolescentis/flavonols (galangin, quercetin, and fisetin) co-culture highly suppressed NO production. This activity increased during the 1-6 H incubation in a time-dependent manner and was not observed in the co-culture using heat-inactivated B. adolescentis. Interestingly, when the B. adolescentis cell number was increased, the supernatant from the mono-culture of the bacteria showed NO suppression, suggesting that B. adolescentis may produce NO suppressant(s), and flavonols may have a promoting effect. These findings indicate that flavonols have a prebiotic-like effect on the anti-inflammatory activity of B. adolescentis.
Dietary flavonoids, such as quercetin, have long been recognized to protect blood vessels from atherogenic inflammation by yet unknown mechanisms. We have previously discovered the specific localization of quercetin-3-O-glucuronide (Q3GA), a phase II metabolite of quercetin, in macrophage cells in the human atherosclerotic lesions, but the biological significance is poorly understood. We have now demonstrated the molecular basis of the interaction between quercetin glucuronides and macrophages, leading to deconjugation of the glucuronides into the active aglycone. In vitro experiments showed that Q3GA was bound to the cell surface proteins of macrophages through anion binding and was readily deconjugated into the aglycone. It is of interest that the macrophage-mediated deconjugation of Q3GA was significantly enhanced upon inflammatory activation by lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Zymography and immunoblotting analysis revealed that ?-glucuronidase is the major enzyme responsible for the deglucuronidation, whereas the secretion rate was not affected after LPS treatment. We found that extracellular acidification, which is required for the activity of ?-glucuronidase, was significantly induced upon LPS treatment and was due to the increased lactate secretion associated with mitochondrial dysfunction. In addition, the ?-glucuronidase secretion, which is triggered by intracellular calcium ions, was also induced by mitochondria dysfunction characterized using antimycin-A (a mitochondrial inhibitor) and siRNA-knockdown of Atg7 (an essential gene for autophagy). The deconjugated aglycone, quercetin, acts as an anti-inflammatory agent in the stimulated macrophages by inhibiting the c-Jun N-terminal kinase activation, whereas Q3GA acts only in the presence of extracellular ?-glucuronidase activity. Finally, we demonstrated the deconjugation of quercetin glucuronides including the sulfoglucuronides in vivo in the spleen of mice challenged with LPS. These results showed that mitochondrial dysfunction plays a crucial role in the deconjugation of quercetin glucuronides in macrophages. Collectively, this study contributes to clarifying the mechanism responsible for the anti-inflammatory activity of dietary flavonoids within the inflammation sites.
Facilitative glucose uptake transport systems are ubiquitous in animal cells and responsible for transporting glucose across the cell surface membrane. Evaluation of glucose uptake is crucial in the study of numerous diseases and metabolic disorders, such as myocardial ischemia, diabetes mellitus, and cancer. Methods for assessing glucose uptake into mammalian cells are detailed in this unit. The work is divided into four sections: (1) a brief overview of glucose uptake assays in cultured cells; (2) a method for measuring glucose uptake using radiolabeled 3-O-methylglucose; (3) a method for measuring glucose uptake using radiolabeled 2-deoxyglucose (2DG); and (4) an improved method for measuring 2DG-uptake using an enzymatic, fluorometric assay, eliminating the need for radiolabeled glucose analogs.
Using a superoxide (O(2)(-)) generation assay system with differentiated HL-60 cells, 1,2-di-O-?-linolenoyl-3-O-?-galactosyl-sn-glycerol (DLGG) was identified as an O(2)(-) generation inhibitor from Perilla frutescens var. crispa (a local variety, kida-chirimen shiso). DLGG suppressed the O(2)(-) level in a dose-dependent manner with an IC(50) value of 21 µM, comparable to those of rosmarinic acid (RoA, IC(50) = 29 µM) and caffeic acid (CA, IC(50) = 30 µM). While RoA and CA also dose-dependently inhibited O(2)(-) generation in a xanthine-xanthine oxidase system, DLGG had no effect in the same system. Thus DLGG appeared to decrease the O(2)(-) level in the HL-60 assay system by mechanisms different from those of RoA and CA, which appeared to act as O(2)(-) scavengers.
Flavonoids are present in many plants, and hence, in foods and ingredients derived from them. These polyphenolic compounds have attracted renewed attention as potential anticarcinogens, and the molecular mechanisms of their anticarcinogenic effects and their bioavailability have been extensively explored. In this review, we focus on the major dietary flavonoids; flavones, flavonols, and flavan-3-ols (catechins), and evaluate their roles in cancer prevention. After absorption with or without metabolic conjugation, flavonoids are transported to target organs where they exert their anticarcinogenic activity. The molecular mechanisms of the anticarcinogenic effects of flavonoids include their antagonistic effect on the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), and regulation of phase I and II drug metabolizing enzymes and phase III transporters. Experimental evidence suggests that flavonoids modulate signal transduction pathways at each stage of carcinogenesis. The interactions between flavonoids and biomolecules in vivo must be investigated in detail to identify specific targets. In addition, the potential side effects should be considered when flavonoid supplements are used for cancer prevention. Therefore, the use of flavonoids as chemopreventive agents should be further investigated to establish safe levels of flavonoid intake.
Quercetin is a flavonoid found in plant foods and herbal medicines. It possesses antidepressant-like effects in forced swimming test-loaded rodents. We wanted to clarify the mechanism of action of dietary quercetin for exerting antidepressant-like effects. The effect of quercetin and its antioxidative metabolite quercetin 3-glucuronide (Q3GA) on the activity of mouse brain mitochondrial monoamine oxidase-A (MAO-A) was evaluated by measuring the deamination product of serotonin, 5-hydroxyindole acetaldehyde (5-HIAL).
Glucose transporter-4 (GLUT4) is a transmembrane protein that plays a major role in insulin-mediated glucose transport in muscle and adipocytes. For glucose transport to occur, the GLUT4 protein needs to be translocated from the intracellular pool to the plasma membrane, and certain compounds may enhance this process. The present study investigated the promotion of glucose uptake in differentiated L6 myotubes by cardamonin, isolated from Alpinia katsumadai. Cardamonin increased translocation of GLUT4 to the plasma membrane in L6 cells, but did not activate protein kinase C ?/?, Akt, or AMP-activated protein-kinase, all of which are known to regulate GLUT4 translocation. The glucose-uptake-promoting activity of cardamonin was not lowered by treatment with a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibitor. These results suggest that cardamonin is a promising active compound for maintaining glucose homeostasis, and that it acts via an unknown mechanism that does not involve activation of the downstream insulin signal and AMP-activated protein kinase.
Artemisia princeps is a familiar plant as a food substance and medicinal herb. In this study, we evaluated the effects of an ethanol extract of A. princeps (APE) on glucose uptake in differentiated L6 muscle cells. Treatment with APE elevated deoxyglucose uptake, and translocation of the insulin-responsive glucose transporter (GLUT4) to the plasma membrane in L6 myotubes occurred. The PI3K inhibitor LY294002 attenuated glucose uptake induced by APE. Phosphorylation of the Ser(473) residue of Akt was not observed, but phosphorylation of PI3K, Akt (Thr(308)), and atypical PKC was. In addition, APE stimulated phosphorylation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) at a level similar to 5-amino-5-imidazolecarboxamide-riboside (AICAR). These results indicate that APE stimulates glucose uptake by inducing GLUT4 translocation, which is in part mediated by combination of the PI3K-dependent atypical PKC pathway and AMPK pathways.
Previously, we developed a microplate assay to quantitate 2-deoxyglucose (2DG) and 2-deoxyglucose-6-phosphate in samples for in vitro and in vivo use. In this assay system, four different reaction mixtures were used, and the difference in the reactivity of the two types of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH) variants was used. Because G6PDH from tolura yeast was no longer available, we modified our assay system for the use of G6PDH from Leuconostoc. Using this improved assay system, concentrations of glucose, 2DG, glucose-6-phosphate, and 2-deoxyglucose-6-phosphate were easily measured. This assay may be useful for measuring uptake of 2DG without the use of radioisotopes.
The activation of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 leading to the formation of wrinkle and sagging of skin is an essential step in the skin photoaging on exposure to ultraviolet A (UVA). This study attempted to elucidate the role of peroxidized cholesterol including cholesterol hydroperoxides (Chol-OOHs), primary products of lipid peroxidation in biomembranes, in MMP-9 activation and the effect of dietary beta-carotene in MMP-9 activation. Hairless mice were subjected to periodic UVA irradiation for 8 weeks. The amount of peroxidized cholesterol detected as total hydroxycholesterol in the skin was increased significantly by the exposure. The activity and protein level of MMP-9 were elevated with wrinkling and sagging formation. MMP-9 activity was also enhanced by the intracutaneous injection of Chol-OOHs into the mouse skin. Adding beta-carotene to the diet of the mice during the period of irradiation suppressed the activity and expression of MMP-9 as well as the wrinkling and sagging formation. The amount of cholesterol 5alpha-hydroperoxide, a singlet molecular oxygen oxygenation-specific peroxidized cholesterol, was significantly lowered by the addition of beta-carotene to the diet. These results strongly suggest that Chol-OOHs formed on exposure to UVA contribute to the expression of MMP-9, resulting in photoaging. Dietary beta-carotene prevents the expression of MMP-9, at least partly, by inhibiting photodynamic action involved in the formation of Chol-OOHs.
The flavonoid quercetin is considered to have beneficial effects on human health. We recently have shown that quercetin-enriched foods reduced the duration of immobility time in a rat forced swimming test, indicating that dietary quercetin is promising as an antidepressant-like factor, whereas its mechanism of action is poorly understood. The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of quercetin on water immersion-restraint (WIR), stress-induced hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activation, which is a major component of stress response and plays an important role in the pathology of depression. Quercetin administration to rats significantly suppressed WIR stress-induced increase of plasma corticosterone and adrenocorticotropic hormone levels as well as the mRNA expression of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) in the hypothalamic region. In addition, quercetin modulated the DNA binding activities of glucocorticoid receptor and phosphorylated cyclic adenosine 3,5-monophosphate (cAMP) response element binding protein as well as the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 in the hypothalamic region, all of which are known to regulate the expression of CRF mRNA. Taken together, these results suggest that dietary quercetin attenuates the HPA axis activation by the suppression of the CRF mRNA expression.
To investigate the absorption and metabolism of 4-hydroxyderricin and xanthoangelol, we established an analytical method based on liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry and measured these compounds in the plasma, urine, feces, liver, kidney, spleen, muscle and white adipose tissues of mice orally administered with Ashitaba extract (50-500mg/kg body weight). 4-Hydroxyderricin and xanthoangelol were quickly absorbed into the plasma, with time-to-maximum plasma concentrations of 2 and 0.5h for 4-hydroxyderricin and xanthoangelol, respectively. Although these compounds have similar structures, the total plasma concentration of 4-hydroxyderricin and its metabolites was approximately 4-fold greater than that of xanthoangelol and its metabolites at 24h. 4-Hydroxyderricin and xanthoangelol were mostly excreted in their aglycone forms and related metabolites (glucuronate and/or sulfate forms) in urine between 2 and 4h after oral administration of Ashitaba extract. On the other hand, these compounds were only excreted in their aglycone forms in feces. When tissue distribution of 4-hydroxyderricin and xanthoangelol was estimated 2h after administration of Ashitaba extract, both compounds were detected in all of the tissues assessed, mainly in their aglycone forms, except in the mesenteric adipose tissue. These results suggest that 4-hydroxyderricin and xanthoangelol are rapidly absorbed and distributed to various tissues.
Fatty acid-induced insulin resistance and impaired glucose uptake activity in muscle cells are fundamental events in the development of type 2 diabetes and hyperglycemia. There is an increasing demand for compounds including drugs and functional foods that can prevent myocellular insulin resistance.
Quercetin is ubiquitously distributed in plant foods. This antioxidative polyphenol is mostly converted to conjugated metabolites in the body. Parkinson disease (PD) has been suggested to be related to oxidative stress derived from abnormal dopaminergic activity. We evaluated if dietary quercetin contributes to the antioxidant network in the central nervous system from the viewpoint of PD prevention. A neurotoxin, 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA), was used as a model of PD. 6-OHDA-induced H?O? production and cell death in mouse neuroblastoma, Neuro-2a. Quercetin aglycone suppressed 6-OHDA-induced H?O? production and cell death, although aglycone itself reduced cell viability at higher concentration. Quercetin 3-O-?-D-glucuronide (Q3GA), which is an antioxidative metabolite of dietary quercetin, was little incorporated into the cell resulting in neither suppression of 6-OHDA-induced cell death nor reduction of cell viability. Q3GA was found to be deconjugated to quercetin by microglial MG-6 cells. These results indicate that quercetin metabolites should be converted to their aglycone to exert preventive effect on damage to neuronal cells.
The Japanese herb, Ashitaba (Angelica keiskei Koidzumi), contains two prenylated chalcones, 4-hydroxyderricin and xanthoangelol, which are considered to be the major active compounds of Ashitaba. However, their effects on inflammatory responses are poorly understood. In the present study, we investigated the effects and underlying molecular mechanisms of 4-hydroxyderricin and xanthoangelol on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammatory responses in RAW264 mouse macrophages. LPS-mediated production of nitric oxide (NO) was markedly reduced by 4-hydroxyderricin (10 ?M) and xanthoangelol (5 ?M) compared with their parent compound, chalcone (25 ?M). They also inhibited LPS-induced secretion of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-?), and gene and protein expression of inducible NO synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). Although chalcone decreased the DNA-binding activity of both activator protein-1 (AP-1) and nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-?B), 4-hydroxyderricin and xanthoangelol suppressed only AP-1 and had no effect on NF-?B. On the other hand, all of the tested chalcones reduced the phosphorylation (at serine 536) level of the p65 subunit of NF-?B. 4-Hydroxyderricin and xanthoangelol may be promising for the prevention of inflammatory diseases.
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