In vitro response of human ovarian cancer cells to dietary bioflavonoid isoquercitrin

J Environ Sci Health B. 2019;54(9):752-757. doi: 10.1080/03601234.2019.1633214. Epub 2019 Jul 4.


Isoquercitrin is a dietary bioflavonoid used as a food supplement. We studied the mechanism underlying its effect in human ovarian cancer cells using OVCAR-3 cell line. Viability, survival, apoptosis, release of human transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) and TGF-β1 receptor, and intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation by OVCAR-3 cells were examined after isoquercitrin treatment at concentrations 5, 10, 25, 50, and 100 μg mL-1. AlamarBlue assay revealed that isoquercitrin did not cause any significant change (P > 0.05) in cell viability as compared to control. Apoptotic assay using flow cytometry did not find any significant change (P > 0.05) in the proportion of live, dead and apoptotic cells as compared to control. ELISA also showed that the release of human TGF-β1 and TGF-β1 receptor were not significantly (P > 0.05) affected by isoquercitrin as compared to control. Chemiluminescence assay demonstrated that lower concentrations (5, 10, and 25 μg mL-1) were able to exhibit beneficial effects by inhibiting the generation of intracellular ROS. In contrast, elevated concentrations of 50 and 100 μg mL-1 led to oxidative stress (P < 0.05). We concluded that the beneficial effect of isoquercitrin on ovarian cancer cells may be mediated by an antioxidative pathway that involves inhibition of intracellular ROS generation, thereby limiting oxidative stress.

Keywords: Isoquercitrin; ROS; TGF-β1; apoptosis; cell viability; human; ovarian cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / genetics
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Quercetin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Quercetin / pharmacology
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1 / genetics
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1 / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • TGFB1 protein, human
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1
  • isoquercitrin
  • Quercetin