Therapeutic effect of quercetin in collagen-induced arthritis.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2017 Mar 22 ;90:38-46. Epub 2017 Mar 22. PMID: 28342364
Quercetin, a bioactive flavonoid with anti-inflammatory, immunosuppressive, and protective properties, is a potential agent for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) is the most commonly used animal model for studying the pathogenesis of RA. This study analysed the therapeutic role of quercetin in collagen-induced arthritis in C57BL/6 mice. The animals were allocated into five groups that were subjected to the following treatments: negative (untreated) control, positive control (arthritis-induced), arthritis+methotrexate, arthritis+quercetin, and arthritis+methotrexate+quercetin. Assessments of weight, oedema, joint damage, and cytokine production were used to determine the therapeutic effect of quercetin. This study demonstrated for the first time the anti-inflammatory and protective effects of quercetin in vivo in CIA. The results also showed that the concurrent administration of quercetin and methotrexate did not offer greater protection than the administration of a single agent. The use of quercetin as a monotherapeutic agent resulted in the lowest degree of joint inflammation and the highest protection. The reduced severity of the disease in animals treated with quercetin was associated with decreased levels of TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-17, and MCP-1. In conclusion, this study determined that quercetin, which was non-toxic, produced better results than methotrexate for the protection of joints from arthritic inflammation in mice. Quercetin may be an alternative treatment for RA because it modulates the main pathogenic pathways of RA.