Quercetin is a flavonoid with antioxidant properties, commonly used in tumour pathologies due to anticancer effects. It is a natural polyphenolic compound that has anti-mutagenic and anti-proliferative effects, it has a strong oxidizing capacity and has an important role in regulating cell signaling, cell cycle and apoptosis, all these beneficial effects being demonstrated by several in vitro and in vivo studies. Quercetin is frequently studied mainly due to its potential as a chemopreventive agent being demonstrated its ability to inhibit the initiation and development of tumour cells through various mechanisms. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of quercetin in cell cycle arrest of Walker 256 carcinosarcoma and to highlight its beneficial effects when it is used in tumour chemoprevention.
The study was performed using three groups of Wistar rats with Walker 256 carcinosarcoma: a control group comprising animals with untreated tumours, the second group comprising animals with tumours treated with doxorubicin and the third group consisting of animals who received daily oral quercetin until tumour development (2 weeks) and then followed by doxorubicin treatment. The effect of quercetin and doxorubicin treatment on the studied tumour cells was evaluated by assessing cell cycle progression using flow cytometry analysis.
Propidium iodide staining of DNA measured by flow cytometry, showed the aggressive nature of Walker 256 carcinosarcoma, the tumour presenting a proliferation rate of 44.37% (at 7 days) and 48.46% (at 14 days) and increased values of the S - phase (42.60%, respectively 48.45%). Compared to the control group, the results showed a decrease of the S-phase fraction (28.48% at 7 days, 25.78% at 14 days) and the arrest of the cells in the G0 / G1 phase in the quercetin experimental group. Consequently, a decrease in the proliferative index of cancer cells was observed in the same group (33.28% at 7 days, 30.82% at 14 days).
The results of the study showed that oral administration of quercetin can inhibit the ability of tumour cells to proliferate suggesting the possibility to use as it chemopreventive agent in oncology.
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All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.