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J Biochem Mol Toxicol. 2011 Mar-Apr;25(2):117-26. doi: 10.1002/jbt.20367. Epub 2010 Oct 18.

Prooxidant activity of fisetin: effects on energy metabolism in the rat liver.

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Laboratory of Liver Metabolism, Department of Biochemistry, University of Maringá, 87020900 Maringá, Brazil.


Flavonols, which possess the B-catechol ring, as quercetin, are capable of producing o-hemiquinones and to oxidize NADH in a variety of mammalian cells. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether fisetin affects the liver energy metabolism and the mitochondrial NADH to NAD+ ratio. The action of fisetin on hepatic energy metabolism was investigated in the perfused rat liver and isolated mitochondria. In isolated mitochondria, fisetin decreased the respiratory control and ADP/O ratios with the substrates α-ketoglutarate and succinate. In the presence of ADP, respiration of isolated mitochondria was inhibited with both substrates, indicating an inhibitory action on the ATP-synthase. The stimulation of the ATPase activity of coupled mitochondria and the inhibition of NADH-oxidase activity pointed toward a possible uncoupling action and the interference of fisetin with mitochondrial energy transduction mechanisms. In livers from fasted rats, fisetin inhibited ketogenesis from endogenous sources. The β-hydroxybutyrate/ acetoacetate ratio, which reflects the mitochondrial NADH/NAD+ redox ratio, was also decreased. In addition, fisetin (200 μM) increased the production of (14)CO2 from exogenous oleate. The results of this investigation suggest that fisetin causes a shift in the mitochondrial redox potential toward a more oxidized state with a clear predominance of its prooxidant activity.

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