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Int J Hyperthermia. 2008 Mar;24(2):151-9. doi: 10.1080/02656730701843109.

The synergistic reversal effect of multidrug resistance by quercetin and hyperthermia in doxorubicin-resistant human myelogenous leukemia cells.

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Affiliated Hospital, Academy of Military Medical Sciences, Beijing, China.



This study aimed to evaluate the multidrug resistance (MDR) reversal activity of quercetin (Que) in combination with hyperthermia (HT) in human myelogenous leukemia cells K562/A.


The cytotoxicity of Que alone and the effect of Que and HT to doxorubicin (Dox) cytotoxicity were determined using MTT assay in K562 and K562/A cells. K562/A cells was heated with or without Que pretreatment, and the protein and mRNA levels of heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) and P-glycoprotein (P-gp) were determined by flow cytometry (FCM) and RT-PCR, respectively. Intracellular accumulation of Dox, cell cycle and apoptosis were monitored with FCM.


Que alone inhibited cell growth in a dose-dependent manner in K562 and K562/A cells. Either Que or HT alone had a weak reversal effect on Dox resistance, however, combination HT and Que showed a much more significant reversal effect on Dox resistance (reverse fold 9.49). The elevated protein expression and mRNA level of HSP70 and P-gp in response to HT were inhibited by Que. Pretreatment with Que caused the cells to accumulate Dox 8.3-fold higher than in control cells. In addition, Que induced apoptosis and G2/M arrest in a dose-dependent manner, and the combination of Que and HT was found to have a synergistic effect on apoptosis.


Que pretreatment could significantly enhance the MDR reversal activity of HT in resistant cell line, by sensitizing the cell to reversing MDR activity of HT.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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