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Folia Histochem Cytobiol. 2010 Jan;48(2):222-9. doi: 10.2478/v10042-08-0109-1.

Antiproliferative and pro-apoptotic effects of quercetin on human pancreatic carcinoma cell lines EPP85-181P and EPP85-181RDB.

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Department of Histology and Embryology, Medical University, Wroclaw, Poland.


Polyphenols are present in several edible plants and for many years induce high interest mainly due to their antioxidative and anti-inflammatory influence. At present, numerous studies are conducted on antineoplastic effects of the compounds. One of most effective biopolyphenols involves the flavonol quercetin. Our studies aimed at evaluation of antiproliferative and pro-apoptotic effects of quercetin alone and in combinations with daunorubicin on cells of human pancreatic carcinoma lines. The experiments were conducted on two cell lines, sensitive to daunorubicin EPP85-181P line, and its resistant variant EPP85-181RDB. Effect of studied substances on cell proliferation was detected using sulphorhodamine B (SRB) protein staining method. Apoptotic damage was estimated using comet and TUNEL techniques. Our data demonstrated that quercetin exerted cytotoxic action on cells of the both neoplastic cell lines in concentration-dependent manner. In the case of EPP85-181RDB cell line, quercetin seemed to sensitize resistant cells to daunorubicin. In parallel, the effect of both substances on the sensitive cell line was synergistic. Results of the studies confirmed that quercetin may probably break resistance of neoplastic cells to chemotherapy. On the other side, studied flavonol augmented action of cytostatic drug in case of sensitive tumour cells what suggest, that it might allow to decrease dosage of cytostatic drugs and reduce negative side effects of the treatment.

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