, Volume 24, Issue 5, pp 542-552

Quercetin, a Flavonoid Phytoestrogen, Ameliorates Experimental Allergic Encephalomyelitis by Blocking IL-12 Signaling Through JAK-STAT Pathway in T Lymphocyte

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Experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE) is a Th1 cell-mediated inflammatory demyelinating autoimmune disease model of multiple sclerosis (MS). Quercetin (3,3'4',5,7-pentahydroxy flavone) is a flavonoid phytoestrogen that has profound anticancer and anti-inflammatory activities. In this study, we show that in vivo treatment of SJL/J mice with quercetin (i.p. 50 or 100 μg every other day) ameliorates EAE in association with the inhibition of IL-12 production and neural antigen-specific Th1 differentiation. In vitro treatment of activated T cells with quercetin blocks IL-12-induced tyrosine phosphorylation of JAK2, TYK2, STAT3, and STAT4, resulting in a decrease in IL-12-induced T cell proliferation and Th1 differentiation. These findings highlight the fact that quercetin ameliorates EAE by blocking IL-12 signaling and Th1 differentiation and suggest its use in the treatment of MS and other Th1 cell-mediated autoimmune diseases.