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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2009 Feb 20;379(4):1001-4. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2009.01.015. Epub 2009 Jan 12.

Quercetin up-regulates paraoxonase 1 gene expression with concomitant protection against LDL oxidation.

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The Lipid Research Laboratory 151-T, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 50 Irving Street, NW, Washington, DC 20422, USA.


Paraoxonase 1 (PON1) protects the oxidative modification of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and is a major anti-atherosclerotic protein component of high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Quercetin, a ubiquitous plant flavonoid, has been shown to have a number of bioactivities and may offer a variety of potential therapeutic uses. We explored the roles of quercetin in the regulation of PON1 expression, serum and liver activity and protective capacity of HDL against LDL oxidation in rats. Compared to the pair-fed control group, feeding quercetin (10 mg/L) in the liquid diet for 4 weeks increased (a) hepatic expression of PON1 by 35% (p<0.01), (b) serum and liver PON1 activities by 29% (p<0.05) and 57% (p<0.01), respectively, and (c) serum homocysteine thiolactonase (HCTL) activity by 23% (p<0.05). Correspondingly, the lag time of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation was increased by >3-fold (p<0.001) with plasma HDL from quercetin-fed group compared to the HDL from control group. Our data suggest that quercetin has antiatherogenic effect by up regulating PON1 gene expression and its protective capacity against LDL oxidation.

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