In recent years, many papers have suggested that dietary flavonoids may exert beneficial effects in the brain tissue for the protection of neurons against oxidative stress and inflammation. However, the bioavailability of flavonoids across the blood-brain barrier and the localization in the brain remain controversial. Thus, we examined the localization of quercetin-3-O-glucuronide (Q3GA), a major phase-II metabolite of quercetin, in the human brain tissues with or without cerebral infarction by immunohistochemical staining using anti-Q3GA antibody. A significant immunoreactivity was observed in the epithelial cells of the choroid plexus, which constitute the structural basis of the blood-cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) barrier, and in the foamy macrophages of recent infarcts. The cellular accumulation of Q3GA was also reproduced in vitro in macrophage-like RAW264, microglial MG6, and brain capillary endothelial RBEC1. It is of interest that a common feature of these cell lines is the deconjugation of Q3GA, resulting in the cellular accumulation of non-conjugated quercetin and the methylated forms. We then examined the anti-inflammatory activity of Q3GA and the deconjugated forms in the lipopolysaccharide-stimulated macrophage cells and revealed that the deconjugated forms (quercetin and a methylated form isorhamnetin), but not Q3GA itself, exhibited inhibitory effects on the inflammatory responses through attenuation of the c-Jun N-terminal kinase pathway. These results suggested that a quercetin glucuronide can pass through the blood-brain barrier, perhaps the CSF barrier, accumulate in specific types of cells, such as macrophages, and act as anti-inflammatory agents in the brain through deconjugation into the bioactive non-conjugated forms.
Epidemiological and experimental studies suggest that the consumption of flavonoid-rich diets decreases the risk of various chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases. Although studies on the bioavailability of flavonoids have been well-characterized, the tissue and cellular localizations underlying their biological mechanisms are largely unknown. The development and application of novel monoclonal antibodies revealed that macrophages could be the major target of dietary flavonoids in vivo. Using macrophage-like cell lines in vitro, we examined the molecular basis of the interaction between the macrophages and flavonoids, especially the glucuronide metabolites. We have found that extracellular ?-glucuronidase secreted from macrophages is essential for the bioactivation of the glucuronide conjugates into the aglycone, and that the enzymatic activity, which requires an acidic pH, is promoted by the increased secretion of lactate in response to the mitochondrial dysfunction. This review describes our recent findings indicating the molecular mechanisms responsible for the anti-inflammatory activity of dietary flavonoids within the inflammation sites. We propose that the extracellular activity of ?-glucuronidase associated with the status of the mitochondrial function in the target cells might be important biomarkers for the specific sites where the glucuronides of dietary flavonoids can act as anti-atherosclerotic and anti-inflammatory agents in vivo.
Cholesterol hydroperoxides (ChOOHs) are included as lipid peroxidation products in the skin exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light irradiation. They may exert physicochemical actions affecting biomembrane rigidity because cholesterol is one of the major components of cell membranes. We investigated the distribution of isomeric ChOOHs in heterogeneous cell membranes with different lipid profiles using mouse fibroblast NIH-3T3 cells as a model of the dermis. Before and after UVA irradiation in the presence of hematoporphyrin, cell membranes were partitioned to microdomains (lipid rafts and caveolae) containing a higher amount of cholesterol and non-microdomains (containing a lower amount of cholesterol) by ultracentrifugation. By a combination of diphenylpyrenylphosphine-thin-layer chromatography blotting analyses and gas chromatography-electron ionization-mass spectrometry/selected ion monitoring analyses, ChOOH isomers were determined as their trimethylsilyloxyl derivatives. Cholesterol 5?-, 7?- and 7?-hydroperoxide were found as isomeric ChOOHs before irradiation. The amounts of the three ChOOH isomers increased significantly after photoirradiation for 2h. No difference was observed between microdomains and non-microdomains with regard to the ratio of the amounts of isomeric ChOOHs to that of cholesterol, suggesting that these ChOOH isomers were distributed equally in both parts depending on cholesterol content. When cells were treated with a purified mixture of ChOOH isomers, cell membranes incorporated ChOOHs into microdomains as well as non-microdomains evenly. Cellular matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) activity was elevated by treatment with the purified mixture of ChOOH isomers. These results strongly suggest that ChOOHs accumulate in cell membranes irrespective of the heterogeneous microstructure and promote MMP activity if dermal cells are exposed to photodynamic actions.
The antioxidant property of plasma high-density lipoprotein (HDL) is thought to be involved in potential anti-atherogenic effects but the exact mechanism is not known. We aimed to reveal the contribution of HDL on the elimination of lipid hydroperoxides (LOOH) derived from oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Oxidized LDL prepared by copper ion-induced oxidation contained nonesterified fatty acid hydroperoxides (FFA-OOH) and lysophosphatidylcholine (lysoPtdCho), in addition to cholesteryl ester hydroperoxides (CE-OOH) and phosphatidylcholine hydroperoxides (PtdCho-OOH). A platelet-activating factor-acetylhydrolase (PAF-AH) inhibitor suppressed formation of FFA-OOH and lysoPtdCho in oxidized LDL. Among LOOH species, FFA-OOH was preferentially reduced by incubating oxidized LDL with HDL. HDL exhibited selective FFA-OOH reducing ability if it was mixed with a liposomal solution containing FFA-OOH, CE-OOH and PtdCho-OOH. Two-electron reduction of the hydroperoxy group to the hydroxy group was confirmed by the formation of 13-hydroxyoctadecadienoic acid from 13-hydroperoxyoctadecadienoic acid in HPLC analyses. This reducing effect was also found in apolipoprotein A-1 (apoA-1). FFA-OOH released from PtdCho-OOH due to PAF-AH activity in oxidized LDL undergo two-electron reduction by the reducing ability of apoA1 in HDL. This preferential reduction of FFA-OOH may participate in the mechanism of the antioxidant property of HDL.
Accumulated evidence shows that some phytochemicals provide beneficial effects for human health. Recently, a number of mechanistic studies have revealed that direct interactions between phytochemicals and functional proteins play significant roles in exhibiting their bioactivities. However, their binding selectivities to biological molecules are considered to be lower due to their small and simple structures. In this study, we found that zerumbone, a bioactive sesquiterpene, binds to numerous proteins with little selectivity. Similar to heat-denatured proteins, zerumbone-modified proteins were recognized by heat shock protein 90, a constitutive molecular chaperone, leading to heat shock factor 1-dependent heat shock protein induction in hepa1c1c7 mouse hepatoma cells. Furthermore, oral administration of this phytochemical up-regulated heat shock protein expressions in the livers of Sprague-Dawley rats. Interestingly, pretreatment with zerumbone conferred a thermoresistant phenotype to hepa1c1c7 cells as well as to the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. It is also important to note that several phytochemicals with higher hydrophobicity or electrophilicity, including phenethyl isothiocyanate and curcumin, markedly induced heat shock proteins, whereas most of the tested nutrients did not. These results suggest that non-specific protein modifications by xenobiotic phytochemicals cause mild proteostress, thereby inducing heat shock response and leading to potentiation of protein quality control systems. We considered these bioactivities to be xenohormesis, an adaptation mechanism against xenobiotic chemical stresses. Heat shock response by phytochemicals may be a fundamental mechanism underlying their various bioactivities.
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.
Quercetin is widely distributed in vegetables and herbs and has been suggested to act as a neuroprotective agent. Here, we demonstrate that quercetin can accumulate enough to exert biological activity in rat brain tissues. Homogenates of perfused rat brain without detectable hemoglobin contaminants were treated with ?-glucuronidase/sulfatase and the released quercetin and its methylated form were analyzed using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with three different detection methods. Both quercetin and the methylated form were detected in the brain of quercetin-administered rats using HPLC-UV and HPLC with electrochemical detection and were further identified using HPLC-tandem mass spectrometry. Oral administration of quercetin (50mg/kg body wt) attenuated the increased oxidative stress in the hippocampus and striatum of rats exposed to chronic forced swimming. The possible transport of quercetin derivatives into the brain tissue was reproduced in vitro by using a rat brain capillary endothelial cell line, a model of the blood-brain barrier. These results show that quercetin could be a potent nutrient that can access the brain and protect it from disorders associated with oxidative stress.
It has been suggested that polyphenol-rich diets decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Although studies of the bioavailability of polyphenols, particularly their absorption and metabolism, have been reported recently, the tissue and cellular distributions underlying their biological mechanisms remain unknown. It is difficult to evaluate the specific localization of tissue and/or cellular polyphenols, because the method is limited to chromatography. To overcome these difficulties, we have developed anti-polyphenol antibodies to characterize immunohistochemically the localization of polyphenols and their metabolites in vivo. Two novel monoclonal antibodies were raised against quercetin and tea catechins, which represent flavonoid-type polyphenols distributed in foods and beverages, and are expected to exhibit anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory activities in vivo. Using these antibodies, we identified activated macrophages as a specific target of these flavonoids during the development of atherosclerotic lesions. This review describes recent findings on the molecular actions of flavonoids that underly their anti-atherosclerotic activity in vivo.
Quercetin, a member of the bioflavonoids family, has been proposed to have anti-atherogenic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-hypertensive properties leading to the beneficial effects against cardiovascular diseases. It was recently demonstrated that quercetin 3-O-?-D-glucuronide (Q3GA) is one of the major quercetin conjugates in human plasma, in which the aglycone could not be detected. Although most of the in vitro pharmacological studies have been carried out using only the quercetin aglycone form, experiments using Q3GA would be important to discover the preventive mechanisms of cardiovascular diseases by quercetin in vivo. Therefore we examined the effects of the chemically synthesized Q3GA, as an in vivo form, on vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) disorders related to the progression of arteriosclerosis. Platelet-derived growth factor-induced cell migration and proliferation were inhibited by Q3GA in VSMCs. Q3GA attenuated angiotensin II-induced VSMC hypertrophy via its inhibitory effect on JNK and the AP-1 signaling pathway. Q3GA scavenged 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radical measured by the electron paramagnetic resonance method. In addition, immunohistochemical studies with monoclonal antibody 14A2 targeting the Q3GA demonstrated that the positive staining specifically accumulates in human atherosclerotic lesions, but not in the normal aorta. These findings suggest Q3GA would be an active metabolite of quercetin in plasma and may have preventative effects on arteriosclerosis relevant to VSMC disorders.
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).
Quercetin is a typical anti-oxidative flavonoid ubiquitously distributed in vegetables. It is likely to act as a bioactive compound by exerting reactive oxygen species (ROS)-scavenging activity and/or binding to specific proteins such as oxidative enzymes and transcriptional factors in signal transduction pathways. Its absorption and metabolism (as well as its molecular targets) have been extensively explored from the viewpoint of its potential for disease prevention. It is known that glucuronide and/or sulfate conjugates with or without O-methylation exclusively circulate in the human bloodstream after intake of a quercetin-containing diet. We propose that glucuronide conjugates of quercetin function not only as detoxified metabolites but hydrophilic bioactive agents to various ROS-generating systems and precursors of hydrophobic aglycone. Quercetin aglycone is assumed to emerge in the target site by the action of ?-glucuronidase activity under oxidative stress such as inflammation. The cardiovascular system and central nervous system seem to be the major targets of conjugated quercetin glucuronides circulating in the human bloodstream.
Quercetin has strong antioxidant potency. Quercetin-3-O-sulphate (Q3S) and quercetin-3-O-glucuronide (Q3GA) are the main circulating metabolites after consumption of quercetin-O-glucoside-rich diets by humans. However, information about how these quercetin metabolites function in vivo is limited. Hence, this study evaluated the efficacy of Q3S and Q3GA for the protection of oxidative injury using in vitro and in vivo experiments. Peroxynitrite-mediated hepatic injury in rats was induced by administration of galactosamine/lipopolysaccharide (GalN/LPS). Twenty-four hours after GalN/LPS treatment, plasma ALT and AST levels delta increased significantly. However, pretreatment with 4(G)-alpha-D-glucopyranosyl rutin, a quercetin glycoside (30 mg/kg body weight), prevented these increases and reduced nitrotyrosine formation, indicating that consumption of quercetin glycosides prevent oxidative hepatotoxicity. Moreover, physiological levels of Q3S and Q3GA (1 microM) effectively prevented peroxynitrite-induced nitrotyrosine formation in human serum albumin in in vitro experiments. These findings indicate peroxynitrite-induced oxidative hepatotoxicity is protected by the in vivo metabolites of quercetin, Q3S and Q3GA.
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.
Quercetin is a major dietary flavonoid found in onions and other vegetables, and potentially has beneficial effects on disease prevention. In the present study, we demonstrate for the first time the effects of dietary quercetin on bone loss and uterine weight loss by ovariectomy in vivo. Female mice were ovariectomized (OVX) and were randomly allocated to 3 groups: a control diet or a diet with 0.25% (LQ) or 2.5% quercetin (HQ). After 4 weeks, dietary quercetin had no effects on uterine weight in OVX mice, but bone mineral density of the lumbar spine L4 and femur measured by peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT) was higher in both the sham and the HQ groups than in the OVX group. Histomorphometric analysis showed that the HQ group restored bone volume (BV/TV) completely in distal femoral cancellous bone, but did not reduce the osteoclast surface area and osteoclast number when compared with the OVX group. In in-vitro experiments using mouse monocyte/macrophage cell line RAW264.7 cells, however, quercetin and its conjugate, quercetin-3-O-beta-D: -glucuronide dose-dependently inhibited the receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappa B ligand (RANKL)-induced osteoclast differentiation, and the RANKL-stimulated expression of osteoclast related genes was also inhibited by quercetin. The luciferase reporter assay showed that quercetin did not appear to have estrogenic activity through estrogen receptors. These results suggest that dietary quercetin inhibits bone loss without effect on the uterus in OVX mice and does not act as a potent inhibitor of osteoclastogenesis or as a selective estrogen receptor modulator in vivo.
The bioavailability of polyphenols in human and rodents has been discussed regarding their biological activity. We found different metabolite profiles of quercetin in rat plasma between two administration procedures. A single intragastric administration (50 mg/kg) resulted in the appearance of a variety of metabolites in the plasma, whereas only a major fraction was detected by free access (1% quercetin). The methylated/non-methylated metabolites ratio was much higher in the free access group. Mass spectrometric analyses showed that the fraction from free access contained highly conjugated quercetin metabolites such as sulfo-glucuronides of quercetin and methylquercetin. The metabolite profile of human plasma after an intake of onion was similar to that with intragastric administration in rats. In vitro oxidation of human low-density lipoprotein showed that methylation of the catechol moiety of quercetin significantly attenuated the antioxidative activity. These results might provide information about the bioavailability of quercetin when conducting animal experiments.
We investigated the reactivity of allyl isothiocyanate (AITC) with amino groups under physiological conditions. First, the chemical reaction of AITC with bovine serum albumin (BSA) was investigated. When BSA was incubated with AITC in a phosphate buffer (pH 7.4), the loss of Lys residues was observed. Second, the Lys residue N(alpha)-benzoyl-glycyl-L-lysine (BGK) was reacted with AITC in the buffer, and a novel peak was detected using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The peak was purified and identified as AITC-modified BGK with a N(epsilon)-thiocarbamoyl linkage. However, a thiol residue is known to be a predominant target of an isothiocyanate (ITC). Although AITC may react with a thiol moiety in vivo, a thiocarbamoyl linkage between ITC and thiol is unstable, and an AITC molecule may be regenerated. To prove the plausible transformation of ITC from thiol to amine, synthetic AITC-conjugated N(alpha)-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) was incubated with BGK at 37 degrees C in physiological buffer, and the generation of AITC-Lys was analyzed. The loss of the AITC-NAC adduct corresponded to the formation of the AITC-BGK adduct. Furthermore, using a novel monoclonal antibody (A4C7mAb) specific for AITC-Lys, we found that the AITC-Lys residue was generated from the reaction between AITC-NAC and BSA. Although AITC preferentially reacts with thiol rather than with Lys, AITC can be liberated from thiols and can then react with amino groups. The ITC-Lys adduct may be a useful marker for ITC target molecules.
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.
Acrolein shows a facile reactivity with the ?-amino group of lysine to form N(?)-(3-formyl-3,4-dehydropiperidino)lysine (FDP-lysine) as the major product. In addition, FDP-lysine generated in the acrolein-modified protein could function as an electrophile, reacting with thiol compounds, to form an irreversible thioether adduct. In the present study, to establish the utility of this irreversible conjugate, we attempted to use it as an immunogen to raise a monoclonal antibody (mAb), which specifically recognized protein-bound thiol compounds. Using the glutathione (GSH) conjugate of the acrolein-modified protein as an immunogen, we raised the mAb 2C4, which cross-reacted with the GSH conjugate of acrolein-modified proteins. Specificity studies revealed that mAb 2C4 recognized both the GSH conjugate of an acrolein-lysine adduct, FDP-lysine, and oxidized GSH (GSSG). In addition, mAb 2C4 cross-reacted not only with the GSH conjugates of the acrolein-modified protein but also with the GSH-treated, oxidized protein (S-glutathiolated protein), suggesting that the antibody significantly recognized the protein-bound GSH as the epitope. An immunohistochemical analysis of the atherosclerotic lesions from the human aorta showed that immunoreactive materials with mAb 2C4 were indeed present in the macrophage-derived foam cells and migrating smooth muscles. In addition, using mAb 2C4, we analyzed the GSH-treated, oxidized low-density lipoproteins by agarose gel electrophoresis under reducing or nonreducing conditions followed by immunoblot analysis and found that the majority of the GSH was irreversibly incorporated into the proteins. The results of this study not only showed the utility of the antibody raised against the GSH conjugate of the acrolein-modified proteins but also suggested that the irreversible binding of GSH and other redox molecules to the oxidized LDL might represent the process common to the modification of LDL during atherogenesis.
Acrolein, a ubiquitous pollutant in the environment, is endogenously formed through oxidation reactions and is believed to be involved in cytopathological effects observed during oxidative stress. Acrolein exerts these effects because of its facile reactivity with biological materials, particularly proteins. In the present study, we quantitatively analyzed the acrolein-specific adducts generated during lipid peroxidation-modification of proteins and identified the acrolein adduct most abundantly generated in the in vitro oxidized low-density lipoproteins (LDL). Taking advantage of the fact that the acrolein-lysine adducts, N(?)-(3-formyl-3,4-dehydropiperidino)lysine (FDP-lysine) and N(?)-(3-methylpyridinium)lysine (MP-lysine), have stable core structures resistant to the acid hydrolysis condition of proteins, we examined the formation of these adducts in proteins using high performance liquid chromatography with online electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry. However, only MP-lysine was detected as a minor product in the iron/ascorbate-mediated oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the presence of proteins and in the oxidized low-density lipoproteins (LDL). However, using a reductive amination-based pyridylamination method, we analyzed the acrolein-specific adducts with a carbonyl functionality and found that acrolein modification of the protein produced a number of carbonylated amino acids, including an acrolein-histidine adduct. On the basis of the chemical and spectroscopic evidence, this adduct was identified as N(?)-(3-propanal)histidine. More notably, N(?)-(3-propanal)histidine appeared to be one of the major adducts generated in the oxidized LDL. These data suggest that acrolein generated during lipid peroxidation may primarily react with histidine residues of proteins to form N(?)-(3-propanal)histidine.
Withdrawal of nutrients triggers an exit from the cell division cycle, the induction of autophagy, and eventually the activation of cell death pathways. The relation, if any, among these events is not well characterized. We found that starved mouse embryonic fibroblasts lacking the essential autophagy gene product Atg7 failed to undergo cell cycle arrest. Independent of its E1-like enzymatic activity, Atg7 could bind to the tumor suppressor p53 to regulate the transcription of the gene encoding the cell cycle inhibitor p21(CDKN1A). With prolonged metabolic stress, the absence of Atg7 resulted in augmented DNA damage with increased p53-dependent apoptosis. Inhibition of the DNA damage response by deletion of the protein kinase Chk2 partially rescued postnatal lethality in Atg7(-/-) mice. Thus, when nutrients are limited, Atg7 regulates p53-dependent cell cycle and cell death pathways.
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.
Hesperetin is an aglycone of citrus flavonoids and is expected to exert a vasodilatation effect in vivo. We developed water-dispersible hesperetin by the process of micronization to enhance the bioavailability of hesperetin. This study aimed to assess the effect of this process on the bioavailability of hesperetin and to estimate its efficiency on vasodilatation-related functions using endothelial cells in vitro and a human volunteer study at a single dose in vivo. We found that water-dispersible hesperetin was absorbed rapidly, with its maximum plasma concentration (C(max)) being 10.2 ± 1.2 ?M, and that the time to reach C(max), which is within 1 h if 150 mg of this preparation was orally administered in humans. LC-MS analyses of the plasma at C(max) demonstrated that hesperetin accumulated in the plasma as hesperetin 7-O-?-D-glucuronide (Hp7GA), hesperetin 3-O-?-D-glucuronide (Hp3GA) and hesperetin sulfate exclusively. Similar to hesperetin, Hp7GA enhanced nitric oxide (NO) release by inhibiting nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate-oxidase (NADPH oxidase) activity in a human umbilical vein endothelial cell culture system, indicating that plasma hesperetin metabolites can improve vasodilatation in the vascular system. A volunteer study using women with cold sensitivity showed that a single dose of water-dispersible hesperetin was effective on peripheral vasodilatation.These results strongly suggest that rapid accumulation with higher plasma concentration enables hesperetin to exert a potential vasodilatation effect by the endothelial action of its plasma metabolites. Water-dispersible hesperetin may be useful to improve the health effect of dietary hesperetin.
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