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Invest New Drugs. 2008 Oct;26(5):417-24. doi: 10.1007/s10637-008-9114-7. Epub 2008 Feb 9.

Inhibitory effects of quercetin derivatives on phosphodiesterase isozymes and high-affinity [(3) H]-rolipram binding in guinea pig tissues.

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Pharmacy Department, Chi Mei Medical Center, 901 Chung-Hwa Road, Tainan, 710, Taiwan.


Rolipram has high (PDE4(H)) and low (PDE4(L)) affinities for phosphodiesterase (PDE)-4, respectively. In general, it is believed that inhibitions by PDE4(H) and PDE4(L) are respectively associated with an adverse response and with anti-inflammatory and bronchodilating effects. This has provided a rational basis for designing new compounds with high PDE4(H)/PDE4(L) ratios. In the present study, we attempted to determine the PDE4(H)/PDE4(L) ratios of quercetin (1), qercetin-3-O-methylether (3-MQ, 2), quercetin-3,7,4'-O-trimethylether (ayanin, 3), quercetin-3,7,3',4'-O- tetramethylether (QTME, 4), quercetin-3,5,7,3',4'-O-petamethylether (QPME, 5), quercetin-3,5,7,3',4'-O-pentaacetate (QPA, 6), and quercetin-3-O-methyl-5,7,3',4'-O-tetraacetate (QMTA, 7). The activities of PDE1 approximately 5, which were partially separated from homogenates of guinea pig lungs and hearts, were measured by a two-step procedure using adenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cAMP) with [(3) H]-cAMP or guanosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cGMP) with [(3) H]-cGMP as substrates. The IC(50) values of all of these compounds except quercetin (1), 3-MQ (2), and QMTA (7) on PDE1 approximately 5 inhibition were determined. The anti-inflammatory effects of PDE4 inhibitors were reported to be associated with inhibition of PDE4 catalytic activity. Therefore, these IC(50) values for PDE4 inhibition were taken as the PDE4(L) values. The effective concentration (EC(50)), at which one half of the [(3) H]-rolipram bound to high-affinity rolipram binding sites (HARBSs) of brain cell membranes was replaced, was defined as the PDE4(H) value. In the present results, the PDE4(H)/PDE4(L) ratios of quercetin (1), ayanin (3), and QPME (5) were >30, >19, and 11, respectively (Table 1), which are higher than or equal to that of AWD12-281, the selective PDE4 inhibitor with the greatest potential currently undergoing clinical trials for treating asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

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