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Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2018 Dec;82(12):2118-2129. doi: 10.1080/09168451.2018.1515615. Epub 2018 Sep 10.

Simultaneous collection of the portal and superior vena cava blood in conscious rats defined that intestinal epithelium is the major site of glucuronidation, but not sulfation and methylation, of quercetin.

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a Research Faculty of Agriculture , Hokkaido University , Sapporo , Japan.
b Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Engineering , Toyama Prefectural University , Imizu , Japan.


Quercetin is a flavonoid with many physiological effects. Absorbed quercetin is rapidly conjugated in the intestinal epithelium and liver. Different positional isomers of quercetin conjugates have different physiological properties. However, the mechanisms of quercetin conjugation in the intestine are not fully clarified. We examined the regioselective quercetin conjugate formation in the intestine after oral administration of quercetin glycosides, by simultaneous sampling of blood from the portal vein and superior vena cava, and quantifying various positional isomers of quercetin glucuronides and sulfates in conscious rats. Concentrations of quercetin glucuronides were higher in blood from the portal vein than the superior vena cava, showing that glucuronidation mainly occurred in the intestine. Such differences were not observed for quercetin sulfates. Regioselectivity of the intestinal glucuronidation in quercetin hydroxyl groups were 7- >3'- >3- >4'-OH. Quercetin was mainly sulfated on 3'-OH at 30 min, but on 4'-OH at 240 min.


Quercetin; conjugation; glucuronide; porto-venous difference; sulfate

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