Quercetin and Quercitrin Attenuates the Inflammatory Response and Oxidative Stress in LPS-Induced RAW264.7 Cells: In Vitro Assessment and a Theoretical Model

Biomed Res Int. 2019 Oct 28:2019:7039802. doi: 10.1155/2019/7039802. eCollection 2019.


Background: Nowadays, atmospheric pollutants, ultraviolet rays, and other factors cause the imbalance of cell redox, resulting in skin oxidative damage. There is an interaction between inflammatory response and oxidative stress, which often involve networks of reactions and serve to amplify each other. Quercetin and quercitrin, with strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, were widely applied in cardiovascular disease, osteoporsis, pulmonary disease, etc. However, the regulation mechanism of quercetin and quercitrin on various inflammatory skin diseases is still not clear.

Purpose: In this study, quercetin and quercitrin were used to investigate whether they had anti-inflammatory and anti-ROS effects. Besides, theoretical calculation method was also adopted to preliminarily explore the mechanism of the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of these two substances.

Methods: CCK-8 assay was employed to investigate the cytotoxicity. The concentration of NO measured by Griess Reaction System. Moreover, the inflammatory factors (TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6) were reduced in LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 cells were tested by ELISA kits. The trend of ROS changes was detected by DCFH-DA method. Finally, the mechanism of the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of these two substances was carried out by DMol3 package in Materials Studio.

Results: CCK-8 assay results guided that the safe concentration of quercetin and quercitrin was lower than 15.0 μg/mL and 22.4 μg/mL, respectively. Also, the concentration of NO could significantly be inhibited by quercetin and quercitrin. Besides, the ELISA results showed that TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6 were reduced in LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 cells after interfering with quercetin and quercitrin. The trend of ROS changes was similar to that of inflammatory factors. Finally, the theoretical calculation illustrated that the oxygen atom on B rings may be the main site of electron cloud density changes, which may suggest a possible mechanism for the anti-inflammatory and ROS scavenging effects of quercetin and quercitrin.

Conclusions: This experiment shows that LPS can induce the overactivating of macrophages and the activated macrophages can subsequently induce inflammatory storms and oxidative stress. Both quercetin and quercitrin can inhibit LPS-induced macrophage inflammation and oxidative stress by experiment and theoretical calculations.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Interleukin-1beta / metabolism
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism
  • Lipopolysaccharides / adverse effects*
  • Macrophages / drug effects
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Quercetin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Quercetin / chemistry
  • Quercetin / pharmacology*
  • RAW 264.7 Cells / drug effects*
  • RAW 264.7 Cells / metabolism
  • Skin Diseases / drug therapy
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Interleukin-1beta
  • Interleukin-6
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • quercitrin
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Quercetin