Assessing the anti‑inflammatory effects of quercetin using network pharmacology and in vitro experiments
- Jingwen Zhang
- Hongyan Li
- Wei Wang
- Hong Li
Affiliations: Department of Endocrinology, Longhua Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 200030, P.R. China
- Published online on: February 22, 2022 https://doi.org/10.3892/etm.2022.11230
Copyright: © Zhang
et al. This is an open access article distributed under the
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Commons Attribution License.
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The present study aimed to investigate the anti‑inflammatory effects of quercetin and the associated mechanisms involved. ELISA, reverse transcription‑quantitative PCR and western blot analysis were performed to determine the anti‑inflammatory effects of quercetin in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)‑stimulated RAW264.7 cells. The molecular mechanisms of quercetin were investigated using network pharmacology, molecular docking technology and in vitro experiments. The results revealed that quercetin reduced the LPS‑induced production of TNF‑α, IL‑6 and IL‑1β in RAW264.7 macrophages. Protein‑protein interaction network topology analysis indicated that Akt was the target of quercetin. Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes analysis indicated that quercetin may regulate the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway to exert its anti‑inflammatory effects. Furthermore, the molecular docking results indicated that quercetin had a good affinity for the active sites of Akt. Western blot analysis confirmed that quercetin inhibited the phosphorylation of Akt, with an efficacy stronger than that of an Akt inhibitor. Taken together, Akt served as a target as part of the mechanism of the anti‑inflammatory effect of quercetin. This result lays a foundation for the clinical application of quercetin in the treatment of inflammatory diseases.