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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2016, Article ID 8696587, 12 pages
Research Article

Hepatoprotective Effect of Quercetin on Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress and Inflammation after Intense Exercise in Mice through Phosphoinositide 3-Kinase and Nuclear Factor-Kappa B

1Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, Hubei Key Laboratory of Food Nutrition and Safety, Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Environment and Health and MOE Key Lab of Environment and Health, Key Laboratory of Environment and Health (Wuhan), Ministry of Environmental Protection, and State Key Laboratory of Environment Health (Incubation), School of Public Health, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430030, China
2National Institute for Nutrition and Food Safety, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing 102206, China

Received 13 March 2016; Accepted 19 June 2016

Academic Editor: Ryuichi Morishita

Copyright © 2016 Yuhan Tang 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.


The mechanisms underlying intense exercise-induced liver damage and its potential treatments remain unclear. We explored the hepatoprotection and mechanisms of quercetin, a naturally occurring flavonoid, in strenuous exercise-derived endoplasmic reticulum stress (ERS) and inflammation. Intense exercise (28 m/min at a 5° slope for 90 min) resulted in the leakage of aminotransferases in the BALB/C mice. The hepatic ultrastructural malformations and oxidative stress levels were attenuated by quercetin (100 mg/kg·bw). Intense exercise and thapsigargin- (Tg-) induced ERS (glucose-regulated protein 78, GRP78) and inflammatory cytokines levels (IL-6 and TNF-α) were decreased with quercetin. Furthermore, quercetin resulted in phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) induction, Ca2+ restoration, and blockade of the activities of Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), activating transcription factor 6 (ATF6) and especially NF-κB (p65 and p50 nuclear translocation). A PI3K inhibitor abrogated the protection of quercetin on ERS and inflammation of mouse hepatocytes. SP600125 (JNK inhibitor), AEBSF (ATF6 inhibitor), and especially PDTC (NF-κB inhibitor) enhanced the quercetin-induced protection against Tg stimulation. Collectively, intense exercise-induced ERS and inflammation were attenuated by quercetin. PI3K/Akt activation and JNK, ATF6, and especially NF-κB suppression were involved in the protection. Our results highlight a novel preventive strategy for treating ERS and inflammation-mediated liver damage induced by intense exercise using natural phytochemicals.