To investigate the ability of quercetin to improve ovarian function and inhibit ovarian oxidative stress through the PI3K/Akt/FoxO3a signalling pathway in a rat model of premature ovarian failure (POF), we constructed a POF rat model with cyclophosphamide (CTX) and treated it with quercetin. Haematoxylin and eosin staining (H&E staining) was used to observe the morphological changes of the ovaries. The serum levels of AMH, E2, FSH, SOD, GSH-Px and MDA were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. The expression of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), protein kinase B (Akt), forkhead box O3a (FoxO3a) and their phosphorylated forms AMH, FSH and their receptors in the ovary were detected by western blots. The mRNA expression of PI3K, Akt, FOXO3a, AMH, FSH and their receptors was detected by qRT-PCR. Our results showed that quercetin could significantly increase the expression of AMH, E2, SOD and GSH-Px, upregulate the protein expression of AMH, FSH and its receptor and decrease the expression ratio of phosphorylated PI3K, Akt, FOXO3a and the unphosphorylated forms. Moreover, quercetin inhibited the mRNA expression of PI3K, Akt and FOXO3a. These results suggest that quercetin can restore ovarian function and inhibit oxidative stress by regulating the PI3K/Akt/FoxO3a signalling pathway.
Keywords: PI3K/Akt/FoxO3a; POF; oxidative stress; quercetin.
© 2021 Nordic Association for the Publication of BCPT (former Nordic Pharmacological Society). Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.