Quercetin regulates Th1/Th2 balance in a murine model of asthma.Int Immunopharmacol 2009; 9(3):261-7II
Quercetin is found to be the most active of the flavonoids in studies and many medicinal plants owe much of their activity to their high Quercetin content. Quercetin has demonstrated significant anti-inflammatory activity because of direct inhibition of several initial processes of inflammation. However, its anti-allergic effect in the Th1/Th2 immune response was poorly understood. Recently, it was shown that T-bet and GATA-3 were master Th1 and Th2 regulatory transcription factors. In this study, we have attempted to determine whether Quercetin regulates Th1/Th2 cytokine production, T-bet and GATA-3 gene expression in OVA-induced asthma model mice. Quercetin reduced the increased levels of IL-4, Th2 cytokine production in OVA-sensitized and -challenged mice. The other side, it increased IFN-gamma, Th1 cytokine production in Quercetin administrated mice. We also examined to ascertain whether Quercetin could influence Eosinophil peroxidase (EPO) activity. The administration of Quercetin before the last airway OVA challenge resulted in a significant inhibition of all asthmatic reactions. Accordingly, this study may provide evidence that Quercetin plays a critical role in the amelioration of the pathogenetic process of asthma in mice. These findings provide new insight into the immunopharmacological role of Quercetin in terms of its effects in a murine model of asthma, and also broaden current perspectives in our understanding of the immunopharmacological functions of Quercetin.