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Anal Biochem. 2000 Sep 10;284(2):296-300.

High-performance liquid chromatography with coulometric electrode array detector for the determination of quercetin levels in cells of the immune system.

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Human Nutrition Unit, National Institute for Food and Nutrition Research, Rome, 00178, Italy.


There is mounting evidence emphasizing the importance of intracellular antioxidant levels for maintenance of the immune function. The flavonoid quercetin, a natural antioxidant, has been shown to modulate enzymes involved in the regulation of the inflammatory response. However, up to now, there have been no studies describing quercetin levels in cells of the immune system. A gradient reversed-phase HPLC technique to identify and quantify intracellular levels of quercetin and its application in mice splenocytes are described. Mobile phases were a 0.01 M sodium phosphate monobasic solution adjusted to pH 2.8 with 85% orthophosphoric acid (buffer, Solvent A) and methanol (Solvent B) with a flow rate of 1 ml/min. An eight-channel coulometric electrode array detector was used. In vitro supplementation with increasing concentration of quercetin (25, 50, and 100 microM) raises intracellular quercetin levels in a dose-dependent manner. The method has the required features of specificity and sensitivity for monitoring quercetin uptake in cells of the immune system.

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