Quercetin inhibits inducible ICAM-1 expression in human endothelial cells through the JNK pathway

Hirotsugu Kobuchi, Sashwati Roy, Chandan K. Sen, Hao G. Nguyen, Lester Packer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

185 Citations (Scopus)


The cell adhesion molecule intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) plays a pivotal role in inflammatory responses. Quercetin (3,3',4',5,7- pentahydroxyflavone), a naturally occurring dietary flavonol, has potent anti-inflammatory properties. The effect of quercetin on ICAM-1 expression induced by agonists phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) in human endothelial cell line ECV304 (ECV) was investigated. Quercetin treatment downregulated both PMA- and TNF-α-induced surface expression, as well as the ICAM-1 mRNA levels, in ECV cells in a dose-dependent (10-50 μM) manner. Quercetin had no effect on PMA- or TNF-α- induced nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) activation. However, under similar conditions a remarkable dose-dependent downregulation of activator protein-1 (AP-1) activation was observed. This decrease in AP-1 activation was observed to be associated with the inhibitory effects of quercetin on the c-Jun NH2- terminal kinase (JNK) pathway. These results suggest that quercetin downregulates both PMA- and TNF-α-induced ICAM-1 expression via inhibiting both AP-1 activation and the JNK pathway.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)C403-C411
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number3 46-3
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Activator protein- 1
  • Flavonoids
  • Inflammation
  • Intercellular adhesion molecule-1
  • Kinases
  • c-Jun amino-terminal kinase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology


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