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

Valeria Tutino, Valentina DE Nunzio, Angela Tafaro, Giusy Bianco, Isabella Gigante, Maria Principia Scavo, Rosalba D'Alessandro, Maria Grazia Refolo, Caterina Messa, Maria Gabriella Caruso, Maria Notarnicola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


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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