Quercetin protects against high glucose-induced damage in bone marrow-derived endothelial progenitor cells

Li-Rong Zhao, Yu-Jun Du, Lei Chen, Zhi-Gang Liu, Yue-Hai Pan, Jian-Feng Liu, Bin Liu
International Journal of Molecular Medicine 2014, 34 (4): 1025-31
Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs), a group of bone marrow-derived pro-angiogenic cells, contribute to vascular repair after damage. EPC dysfunction exists in diabetes and results in poor wound healing in diabetic patients with trauma or surgery. The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of quercetin, a natural flavonoid on high glucose‑induced damage in EPCs. Treatment with high glucose (40 mM) decreased cell viability and migration, and increased oxidant stress, as was evidenced by the elevated levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), malondialdehyde (MDA) and superoxide dismutase in bone marrow-derived EPCs. Moreover, high glucose reduced the levels of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) phosphorylation, nitric oxide (NO) production and intracellular cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP). Quercetin supplement protected against high glucose‑induced impairment in cell viability, migration, oxidant stress, eNOS phosphorylation, NO production and cGMP levels. Quercetin also increased Sirt1 expression in EPCs. Inhibition of Sirt1 by a chemical antagonist sirtinol abolished the protective effect of quercetin on eNOS phosphorylation, NO production and cGMP levels following high glucose stress. To the best of our knowledge, the results provide the first evidence that quercetin protects against high glucose‑induced damage by inducing Sirt1-dependent eNOS upregulation in EPCs, and suggest that quercetin is a promising therapeutic agent for diabetic patients undergoing surgery or other invasive procedures.

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