Interference of quercetin on astragalus polysaccharide-induced macrophage activation

Zhipeng LI, Hong Bing Liu, Quan Wei Zhang, Li Feng Li, Wan Rong Bao, Edmond Dik Lung MA, Chung Hang Leung, Zhaoxiang Bian, Aiping Lyu*, Simon Q B Han

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Polysaccharides, which exert immunoregulatory effects, are becoming more and more popular as food supplements; however, certain components of ordinary foods could be reducing the polysaccharides beneficial effects. Quercetin, a flavonoid found in common fruits and vegetables, is one such component. This study investigated the effects of quercetin on Astragalus polysaccharide RAP induced-macrophage activation. The results show quercetin decreases the NO production and iNOS gene expression in RAW264.7 cells, and it inhibits the production of cytokines in RAW264.7 cells and peritoneal macrophages. Western blot analysis results suggest that quercetin inhibits the phosphorylation of Akt/mTORC1, MAPKs, and TBK1, but has no effect on NF-κB in RAP-induced RAW264.7 cells. Taken together, the results show that quercetin partly inhibits macrophage activation by the Astragalus polysaccharide RAP. This study demonstrates that quercetin-containing foods may interfere with the immune-enhancing effects of Astragalus polysaccharide RAP to a certain extent.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1563
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

User-Defined Keywords

  • Astragalus polysaccharide
  • Cytokines
  • Foods
  • Macrophage
  • Quercetin


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