Anti-inflammatory and Hepatoprotective Effects of Quercetin in an Experimental Model of Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Inflammation. 2021 Jun 2. Epub 2021 Jun 2. PMID: 34080090
Ana Carolina de Figueiredo Costa
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease characterized by inflammation in the joints. Although methotrexate (MX) is the first-line treatment, side effects are common. This study aimed to investigate the effects of quercetin (QT) and/or MX on inflammation and systemic toxicity in a rat model of RA. Male Wistar rats were divided into control (C), RA, QT, MX, and QT + MX groups (n=6). The RA induction consisted of three intra-articular injections of methylated bovine serum albumin (1×/week) in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). QT (25 mg/kg) and/or MX (0.75 mg) administration occurred by oral gavage daily. We performed mechanical hyperalgesia in TMJ, leukocyte recruitment in synovial fluid, histopathology, and immunohistochemistry (TNF-α, IL-17, and IL-10) in synovial membrane and toxicity parameters. The RA showed a reduction in the nociceptive threshold (p<0.001), increase in leukocyte recruitment in synovial fluid (p<0.001), intense inflammatory infiltrate (p<0.001), and intense immunoexpression of TNF-α, IL-17, and IL-10 in the synovial membrane (p<0.001) compared to C (p<0.001). QT and/or MX therapy reduced inflammatory parameters (p<0.001). However, downregulation of IL-10 was observed only in the groups that received MX (p<0.001). Leukocytosis was seen in RA (p<0.05), but QT and/or MX reversed it (p<0.05). MX was associated with pathological changes in the liver and higher levels of transaminases when compared to the other groups (p<0.05). QT co-administered with MX reversed this hepatotoxicity (p<0.05). There were no alterations in the kidney between the groups (p>0.05). QT has potential to support MX therapy, showing anti-inflammatory and hepatoprotective effects in this model.