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Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2008 Mar;294(3):H1233-43. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.01091.2007. Epub 2008 Jan 4.

Role of quercetin in modulating rat cardiomyocyte gene expression profile.

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Department of Biochemistry, G.Moruzzi, University of Bologna, Via Irnerio 48, 40126 Bologna, Italy.


Despite extensive studies, the fundamental mechanisms responsible for the development and progression of cardiovascular diseases have not yet been fully elucidated. Recent experimental and clinical studies have suggested that reactive oxygen species play a major pathological role. Oxidative stress reduction induced by flavonoids has been regarded by many as the most likely mechanism in the protective effects of these compounds; however, there is an emerging view that flavonoids may also exert modulatory actions on protein kinase and lipid kinase signaling pathways. Quercetin, a major flavonoid present in the human diet, has been widely studied, and its biological properties are consistent with its protective role in the cardiovascular system. However, it remains unknown whether the cardioprotective effects of quercetin may also occur through the modulation of genes involved in cell survival. The main goal of this study was to examine the gene expression profiling of cultured rat primary cardiomyocytes treated with quercetin using DNA microarrays and to relate these data to functional effects. Results showed distinct temporal changes in gene expression induced by quercetin and a strong upregulation of phase 2 enzymes, highlighting quercetin ability to act also with an indirect antioxidant mechanism.

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