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Biochem Pharmacol. 2005 Oct 15;70(8):1222-30.

In vivo treatment of acute Chlamydia pneumoniae infection with the flavonoids quercetin and luteolin and an alkyl gallate, octyl gallate, in a mouse model.

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National Public Health Institute, Oulu, Finland.


Increasing evidence suggests that plant polyphenolic compounds may protect from cardiovascular diseases, which have been addressed to their antioxidative properties. In addition, these compounds have been shown to possess anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial potential. In the present study we tested the effects of two flavonoid compounds, quercetin and luteolin, and one alkyl gallate, octyl gallate, on the course of acute Chlamydia pneumoniae infection in vivo. C57BL/6J mice were treated with quercetin, luteolin or octyl gallate for 3 days prior to and 10 days after C. pneumoniae inoculation. Lung tissue was analysed for the presence of chlamydia by culture and quantitative PCR, and inflammatory responses were assessed. Luteolin was found histologically to suppress inflammation in lung tissue, the development of C. pneumoniae-specific antibodies and the presence of chlamydia in lung tissue. Octyl gallate had no significant effect on the course of infection, but quercetin increased both the inflammatory responses and the chlamydial load in the lungs. The infection and inflammation-enhancing effects of quercetin treatment may be attributable to the dose and the route of administration and should be reassessed in further studies with lower doses or with different metabolites of the compound. Contrariwise, the effects of luteolin treatment suggest this compound to have potential in decreasing the infection load and inflammatory reactions in vivo.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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