The effect of pretreatment or combined treatment of quercetin on menadione toxicity in rat primary mixed glial cells in vitro

Cytotechnology. 2009 Nov;61(1-2):11-6. doi: 10.1007/s10616-009-9235-7. Epub 2009 Oct 31.


Neurons and glia are highly susceptible to reactive oxygen species that play a key role in various neurodegenerative diseases. Menadione, a synthetic derivative of vitamin K, induces reactive oxygen generation. Quercetin one of the most ubiquitous bioflavonoids in food of plant origin, has strong antioxidant activities on different cell types, however recent studies demonstrated that it has also prooxidant and cytotoxic potentials. We examined the action of pre- and co-treatment of quercetin on menadione induced glial toxicity. The primary mixed glial cells obtained from 1 to 3 day old rat brain were pretreated with 10, 25, 100 or 250 muM quercetin for 1 h, washed out and 10, 25, 50, 75 or 100 muM menadione was added for 6 h. The other group of cells was treated with respective doses of quercetin combined simultaneously with the same doses of menadione for 6 h. The cells were washed and incubated for additional 24 h for recovery period and the viability was measured by using MTT assay. Menadione was dose-dependently toxic to glia cells and pretreatment with respective quercetin doses for 1 h could not eliminate this toxicity. Although 10 and 25 muM quercetin combined with 10 and 25 muM menadione could not change, 100 and 250 muM quercetin together with 10 or 25 muM menadione for 6 h increased further the menadione induced toxicity. We conclude that when combined with menadione, quercetin at high doses could be toxic to primary rat glia cells in culture.