Modulation of Paraoxonase 2 (PON2) in Mouse Brain by the Polyphenol Quercetin: A Mechanism of Neuroprotection?

Neurochemical research

PubMedID: 23743621

Costa LG, Tait L, de Laat R, Dao K, Giordano G, Pellacani C, Cole TB, Furlong CE. Modulation of Paraoxonase 2 (PON2) in Mouse Brain by the Polyphenol Quercetin: A Mechanism of Neuroprotection?. Neurochem Res. 2013;38(9):1809-18.
Quercetin is a common flavonoid polyphenol which has been shown to exert neuroprotective actions in vitro and in vivo. Though quercetin has antioxidant properties, it has been suggested that neuroprotection may be ascribed to its ability of inducing the cell's own defense mechanisms. The present study investigated whether quercetin could increase the levels of paraoxonase 2 (PON2), a mitochondrial enzyme expressed in brain cells, which has been shown to have potent antioxidant properties. PON2 protein, mRNA, and lactonase activity were highest in mouse striatal astrocytes. Quercetin increased PON2 levels, possibly by activating the JNK/AP-1 pathway. The increased PON2 levels induced by quercetin resulted in decreased oxidative stress and ensuing toxicity induced by two oxidants. The neuroprotective effect of quercetin was significantly diminished in cells from PON2 knockout mice. These findings suggest that induction of PON2 by quercetin represents an important mechanism by which this polyphenol may exert its neuroprotective action.