Quercetin alleviates pulmonary angiogenesis in a rat model of hepatopulmonary syndrome

X. Li, Y. Chen, L. Wang, G. Shang, C. Zhang, Z. Zhao, H. Zhang, A. Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


Quercetin shows protective effects against hepatopulmonary syndrome (HPS), as demonstrated in a rat model. However, whether these effects involve pulmonary vascular angiogenesis in HPS remains unclear. Therefore, this study aimed to assess the effect of quercetin on pulmonary vascular angiogenesis and explore the underlying mechanisms. Male Sprague-Dawley rats weighing 200-250 g underwent sham operation or common bile duct ligation (CBDL). Two weeks after surgery, HIF-1α and NFkB levels were assessed in rat lung tissue by immunohistochemistry and western blot. Then, CBDL and sham-operated rats were further divided into 2 subgroups each to receive intraperitoneal administration of quercetin (50 mg/kg daily) or 0.2% Tween for two weeks: Sham (Sham+Tween; n=8), CBDL (CBDL+Tween; n=8), Q (Sham+quercetin; n=8), and CBDL+Q (CBDL+ quercetin; n=8). After treatment, lung tissue specimens were assessed for protein (immunohistochemistry and western blot) and/or gene expression (quantitative real-time PCR) levels of relevant disease markers, including VEGFA, VEGFR2, Akt/p-Akt, HIF-1α, vWf, and IκB/p-IκB. Finally, arterial blood was analyzed for alveolar arterial oxygen pressure gradient (AaPO2). Two weeks after CBDL, HIF-1a expression in the lung decreased, but was gradually restored at four weeks. Treatment with quercetin did not significantly alter HIF-1α levels, but did reduce AaPO2as well as lung tissue NF-κB activity, VEGFA gene and protein levels, Akt activity, and angiogenesis. Although hypoxia is an important feature in HPS, our findings suggest that HIF-1α was not the main cause for the VEGFA increase. Interestingly, quercetin inhibited pulmonary vascular angiogenesis in rats with HPS, with involvement of Akt/NF-κB and VEGFA/VEGFR-2 pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere5326
JournalBrazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 4 2016


  • Angiogenesis
  • HIF-1α
  • Hepatopulmonary syndrome
  • Quercetin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)
  • Cell Biology

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