Protective effects of quercetin on mitochondrial biogenesis in experimental traumatic brain injury via the Nrf2 signaling pathway

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Abstract

The present investigation was carried out to elucidate a possible molecular mechanism related to the protective effect of quercetin administration against oxidative stress on various mitochondrial respiratory complex subunits with special emphasis on the role of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) in mitochondrial biogenesis. Recently, quercetin has been proved to have a protective effect against mitochondria damage after traumatic brain injury (TBI). However, its precise role and underlying mechanisms in traumatic brain injury are not yet fully understood. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of quercetin on the potential mechanism of these effects in a weight-drop model of TBI in male mice that were treated with quercetin or vehicle via intraperitoneal injection administrated 30 min after TBI. In this experiment, ICR mice were divided into four groups: A sham group, TBI group, TBI + vehicle group, and TBI + quercetin group. Brain samples were collected 24 h later for analysis. Quercetin treatment resulted in an upregulation of Nrf2 expression and cytochrome c, malondialdehyde (MDA) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) levels were restored by quercetin treatment. Quercetin markedly promoted the translocation of Nrf2 protein from the cytoplasm to the nucleus. These observations suggest that quercetin improves mitochondrial function in TBI models, possibly by activating the Nrf2 pathway.

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Li, X., Wang, H., Gao, Y., Li, L., Tang, C., Wen, G., … Fan, Y. (2016). Protective effects of quercetin on mitochondrial biogenesis in experimental traumatic brain injury via the Nrf2 signaling pathway. PLoS ONE, 11(10). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0164237

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