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STUDY: The effect of quercetin on apoptosis and necrosis induction in human colon adenocarcinoma cell line LS180.
JOURNAL: Folia Histochem Cytobiol 2001;39(2):217-8
AUTHORS: Pawlikowska-Pawlega B, Jakubowicz-Gil J, Rzymowska J, Gawron A.
ABSTRACT: Quercetin is a very common flavonoid widely distributed in many plants. The flavonoid intake has been linked to the prevention of some human diseases including cancer. Quercetin inhibits heat shock protein expression and in this way triggers apoptosis of tumor cells. The present study was designed to investigate whether quercetin exerts cytotoxic activity against human colon adenocarcinoma cells. The studies have shown that quercetin alone and in combination with the heat shock can induce apoptosis and necrosis in vitro in human colon adenocarcinoma cells (LS 180). Relationships between heat shock proteins and quercetin in this phenomenon are discussed.
COMMENTARY: Apotosis is a term used to describe programmed cell death. In essence what distinguishes normal cells for cancer cells is the fact that normal cells maintain the ability to destroy themselves if a mutation is produced during reproduction, whereas cancer cells lose this function and become essentially immortal. This study indicates the quercetin may help re-induce the ability of cancer cells to resume the apotosis function. Quercetin has been investigated in a number of animal models and human cancer cell lines, and has been found to have antiproliferative effects. It may also increase the effectiveness of chemotherapeutic agents. More clinically-oriented research needs to be done in this area to discover effective dosage ranges and protocols.