Drug Discov Ther. 2023;17(6):415-427. (DOI: 10.5582/ddt.2023.01047)

Quercetin antagonized advanced glycated end products induced apoptosis and functional inhibition of fibroblasts from the prolapsed uterosacral ligament

Sima YZ, Li JW, Xiao CZ, Xu LM, Li LS, Wang L, Chen YS


The altered behaviors and functions of pelvic floor fibroblasts are pathophysiological changes of pelvic organ prolapse (POP). Our previous study showed that advanced glycated end products (AGEs) accumulated in the pelvic tissues of POP and induced fibroblast apoptosis. The study was designed to investigate whether quercetin antagonize AGEs-induced apoptosis and functional inhibition of fibroblasts. The uptake of 5-ethynyl-2'-deoxyuridine (EdU) was evaluated for cell proliferation. Flow cytometric analysis was applied for cell apoptosis. Intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) content was determined by the fluorescence of dichlorofluorescein (DCF). The contractility of fibroblasts was measured by collagen gel contraction assay. The expressions of extracellular matrix (ECM) related genes and the expression of miR-4429 and caspase-3 were quantified by qPCR. The expressions of phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN), phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K), serine-threonine kinase (Akt), and phosphorylated Akt (p-Akt) were analyzed by Western Blot. The down-regulation of miR- 4429 was achieved by cell transfection. Quercetin antagonized AGEs-induced apoptosis, proliferation inhibition, and ROS increase in fibroblasts. Quercetin did not alleviate AGEs-induced contractile impairment of fibroblasts. Quercetin reduced the gene expressions of lysyl oxidase like protein 1 (LOXL1) and matrix metallopeptidase 1 (MMP1), and increased the gene expressions of lysyl oxidase (LOX) and fibrillin 2 (FBN2) in fibroblasts. Quercetin reversed AGEs-induced upregulation of PTEN and downregulation of PI3K, P-Akt, and miR-4429 in fibroblasts. The inhibitory effect of quercetin on AGEs-induced fibroblast apoptosis was inhibited by downregulating the expression of miR-4429. In conclusion, quercetin antagonized AGEs-induced apoptosis and functional inhibition of fibroblasts from the prolapsed uterosacral ligament. And inhibiting AGEs-induced down-regulation of miR-4429/ PTEN/PI3K/Akt pathway was the mechanism underlying the antagonistic effect of quercetin on AGEsinduced apoptosis.

KEYWORDS: pelvic organ prolapse, quercetin, fibroblasts, advanced glycation end products

Full Text: