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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 303902, 12 pages
Research Article

Quercetin Preserves β-Cell Mass and Function in Fructose-Induced Hyperinsulinemia through Modulating Pancreatic Akt/FoxO1 Activation

State Key Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, School of Life Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China

Received 22 December 2012; Revised 26 January 2013; Accepted 26 January 2013

Academic Editor: Ravirajsinh N. Jadeja

Copyright © 2013 Jian-Mei Li et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Fructose-induced hyperinsulinemia is associated with insulin compensative secretion and predicts the onset of type 2 diabetes. In this study, we investigated the preservation of dietary flavonoid quercetin on pancreatic β-cell mass and function in fructose-treated rats and INS-1 β-cells. Quercetin was confirmed to reduce serum insulin and leptin levels and blockade islet hyperplasia in fructose-fed rats. It also prevented fructose-induced β-cell proliferation and insulin hypersecretion in INS-1 β-cells. High fructose increased forkhead box protein O1 (FoxO1) expressions in vivo and in vitro, which were reversed by quercetin. Quercetin downregulated Akt and FoxO1 phosphorylation in fructose-fed rat islets and increased the nuclear FoxO1 levels in fructose-treated INS-1 β-cells. The elevated Akt phosphorylation in fructose-treated INS-1 β-cells was also restored by quercetin. Additionally, quercetin suppressed the expression of pancreatic and duodenal homeobox 1 (Pdx1) and insulin gene (Ins1 and Ins2) in vivo and in vitro. In fructose-treated INS-1 β-cells, quercetin elevated the reduced janus kinase 2/signal transducers and activators of transcription 3 (Jak2/Stat3) phosphorylation and suppressed the increased suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (Socs3) expression. These results demonstrate that quercetin protects β-cell mass and function under high-fructose induction through improving leptin signaling and preserving pancreatic Akt/FoxO1 activation.