The Effect of Quercetin on Doxorubicin Cytotoxicity in Human Breast Cancer Cells

ISSN: 1875-5992 (Online)
ISSN: 1871-5206 (Print)

Volume 17, 14 Issues, 2017

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Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry

Formerly: Current Medicinal Chemistry - Anti-Cancer Agents

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Michelle Prudhomme
Institut de Chimie de Clermont-Ferrand
Université Clermont Auvergne

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The Effect of Quercetin on Doxorubicin Cytotoxicity in Human Breast Cancer Cells

Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry, 13(2): 352-355.

Author(s): Shi-zheng Li, Kun Li, Jun-hua Zhang and Zhe Dong.

Affiliation: Department of Clinical Laboratory, The First Affiliated Hospital of Liaoning Medical University, Jinzhou 121001, China.


Multidrug resistance has became the major obstacle to cancer chemotherapy. Recent studies suggest that quercetin could enhance the response of tumors to chemotherapy although the mechanism by which quercetin enhances the sensitivity of tumor cells to chemical drugs remains elusive. Therefore, in this study, we examined the effects of quercetin on doxorubicin cytotoxicity in human breast cancer cells and investigated the underlying mechanisms. MCF-7 and MCF-7/ dox cells were exposed to doxorubicin, quercetin, or combination of both agents for 36 hours. Cell proliferation, cell invasion, intracellular doxorubicin concentration and expression of hypoxia-inducible factor-1 alpha (HIF-1α) and P-glycoprotein (P-gp) were then assessed. Quercetin had little effect on cell proliferation at concentrations less than 0.7 μM. Compared to treatment with doxorubicin alone, combined treatment with doxorubicin and quercetin (0.7 μM) significantly inhibited cell proliferation and invasion and suppressed the expression of HIF-1α and P-gp. Quercetin (0.7 μM) increased the intracellular doxorubicin concentration and enhanced doxorubicin cytotoxicity as 1.49-fold in MCF-7 cells and 1.98-fold in MCF-7/dox cells. These data suggest that quercetin can increase the chemosensitivity of breast cancer cells to doxorubicin.


Doxorubicin, Quercetin, Chemotherapy, Cytotoxicity.

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Article Details

Volume: 13
Issue Number: 2
First Page: 352
Last Page: 355
Page Count: 4
DOI: 10.2174/1871520611313020020
Price: $58
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