Cannabinoid Receptor-1 Up-regulation in Azoxymethane (AOM)-treated Mice After Dietary Treatment with Quercetin

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BACKGROUND/AIM: The expression of cannabinoid receptor-1 (CB1-R) seems to be modulated by bioactive natural components such as the flavonoid quercetin. The aim of this study was to determine in an animal model of induced-colon cancer, whether quercetin inhibits colon carcinogenesis through changes in the expression of CB1-R.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: C57BL/6J male mice were randomly assigned to standard diet or experimental diet supplemented with 0.5% quercetin. Azoxymethane (AOM) (10 mg/kg body weight) or saline solution (PBS) was intraperitoneally injected, once weekly for 6 weeks.

RESULTS: The diet supplemented with quercetin induced CB1-R gene expression and protein, inhibiting the protein levels of STAT3 and p-STAT3 (both mediators of cell proliferation). Dietary quercetin also caused a significant increase in Bax/Bcl2 ratio protein expression.

CONCLUSION: The anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects of quercetin in AOM-treated mice are mediated by induction of the protein and gene expression levels of CB1-R.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4485-4491
Number of pages7
JournalAnticancer Research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018


  • Animals
  • Apoptosis/drug effects
  • Azoxymethane/pharmacology
  • Carcinogenesis/drug effects
  • Cell Proliferation/drug effects
  • Colonic Neoplasms/drug therapy
  • Diet
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Flavonoids/pharmacology
  • Gene Expression/drug effects
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2/metabolism
  • Quercetin/pharmacology
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB1/metabolism
  • Up-Regulation/drug effects
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein/metabolism


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