Quercetin inhibits lymphocyte activation and proliferation without inducing apoptosis in peripheral mononuclear cells

Enrico Lugli, Roberta Ferraresi, Erika Roat, Leonarda Troiano, Marcello Pinti, Milena Nasi, Elisa Nemes, Linda Bertoncelli, Lara Gibellini, Paolo Salomoni, Edwin L. Cooper, Andrea Cossarizza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Toxicity of chemotherapeutic drugs towards normal cells is a serious side effect of cancer treatment. Thus, finding of molecules with low toxicity for normal cells is crucial. Several natural compounds, such as flavonoid quercertin, are receiving a growing attention as "chemopreventers". Quercetin kills tumour-derived cell lines, but little is known about its effects on normal cells. Here we show that although quercetin exerts a higher apoptotic potential on leukemic cell lines than on peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and does not sensitize PBMCs to CD95-induced apoptosis, it is able to inhibit normal immune functions such as T cell proliferation and activation. Quercetin sensitivity is independent on cell cycle progression since it was not abrogated in serum-starved U937 cells, nor proliferating PBMCs underwent apoptosis after quercetin treatment. However, quercetin prevented PHA-induced PBMC proliferation and SEB-induced upregulation of activation markers. Our data suggest that quercetin, while incapable of inducing apoptosis in normal cells under several conditions, could interfere with effector T cell function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-150
Number of pages11
JournalLeukemia Research
Volume33
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009

Keywords

  • Apoptosis
  • Leukemic cell lines
  • Lymphocyte function
  • PBMCs
  • Quercetin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Hematology
  • Oncology

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  • Cite this

    Lugli, E., Ferraresi, R., Roat, E., Troiano, L., Pinti, M., Nasi, M., Nemes, E., Bertoncelli, L., Gibellini, L., Salomoni, P., Cooper, E. L., & Cossarizza, A. (2009). Quercetin inhibits lymphocyte activation and proliferation without inducing apoptosis in peripheral mononuclear cells. Leukemia Research, 33(1), 140-150. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.leukres.2008.07.025