Next Article in Journal
A Systematic Review of Fatalities Related to Acute Ingestion of Salt. A Need for Warning Labels?
Next Article in Special Issue
The Gene-Lifestyle Interaction on Leptin Sensitivity and Lipid Metabolism in Adults: A Population Based Study
Previous Article in Journal
Metabolic Effects of High Glycaemic Index Diets: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Feeding Studies in Mice and Rats
Previous Article in Special Issue
Zeolite-Containing Mixture Supplementation Ameliorated Dextran Sodium Sulfate-Induced Colitis in Mice by Suppressing the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Pathway and Improving Apoptosis in Colon Mucosa
Article Menu
Issue 7 (July) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

Quercetin Protects Obesity-Induced Hypothalamic Inflammation by Reducing Microglia-Mediated Inflammatory Responses via HO-1 Induction

Department of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Ulsan, Ulsan 44610, Korea
Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul 05505, Korea
Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Uji, Kyoto 611-0011, Japan
Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Center for Food and Nutritional Genomics Research, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 41566, Korea
Department of Food and Nutrition, Yonsei University, Seoul 03722, Korea
Department of Food and Nutrition, Sookmyung Women’s University, Seoul 04310, Korea
Department of Biotechnology, Daegu University, Gyeongbuk 38453, Korea
Department of Biological Science, University of Ulsan, Ulsan 44610, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2017, 9(7), 650;
Received: 27 May 2017 / Revised: 16 June 2017 / Accepted: 19 June 2017 / Published: 23 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from APNNO Biennial Conference 2016)
PDF [1543 KB, uploaded 26 June 2017]


Obesity-induced hypothalamic inflammation is characterized by activation of microglia, which are resident macrophages of the central nervous system, and is implicated in the derangement of energy homeostasis, metabolic complications, and neurodegenerative diseases. Quercetin, a naturally occurring flavonoid, is known to protect against oxidative stress and inflammation-related metabolic complications. Here, we demonstrate that quercetin reduces obesity-induced hypothalamic inflammation by inhibiting microglia-mediated inflammatory responses, and the beneficial action of quercetin is associated with heme oxygenase (HO-1) induction. Quercetin markedly reduced the production of inflammatory mediators (monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1, interleukin (IL-6), IL-1β, nitric oxide) by microglia stimulated with saturated fatty acid palmitate and/or lipid-laden microglia-conditioned medium. Quercetin also upregulated the expression of HO-1 in palmitate-treated lipid-laden microglia, and the actions of quercetin against microglia activation accompanied by IκBα degradation were abolished by a HO-1 inhibitor. Moreover, quercetin supplementation reduced the levels of inflammatory cytokines and microglia activation markers in the hypothalamus of high fat diet (HFD)-fed obese mice, which was accompanied by upregulation of HO-1. These findings indicate that quercetin suppresses microglia-mediated inflammatory responses via the induction of HO-1, and hence protects against obesity-induced hypothalamic inflammation. View Full-Text
Keywords: obesity; inflammation; hypothalamus; microglia; quercetin obesity; inflammation; hypothalamus; microglia; quercetin

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Yang, J.; Kim, C.-S.; Tu, T.H.; Kim, M.-S.; Goto, T.; Kawada, T.; Choi, M.-S.; Park, T.; Sung, M.-K.; Yun, J.W.; Choe, S.-Y.; Lee, J.H.; Joe, Y.; Choi, H.-S.; Back, S.H.; Chung, H.T.; Yu, R. Quercetin Protects Obesity-Induced Hypothalamic Inflammation by Reducing Microglia-Mediated Inflammatory Responses via HO-1 Induction. Nutrients 2017, 9, 650.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Nutrients EISSN 2072-6643 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top