Protective effects of quercetin on dieldrin-induced endoplasmic reticulum stress and apoptosis in dopaminergic neuronal cells

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Dieldrin, an organochlorine pesticide still used in several developing countries, has been proposed as a risk factor for Parkinson’s disease. Quercetin is one of the potent bioactive flavonoids present in numerous plants. In this study, we investigated the protective effects of quercetin on neurotoxicity induced by dieldrin in cultured dopaminergic SN4741 cells. Our initial experiments showed that quercetin (10–40 μM) dose dependently prevented dieldrin (20 μM)-induced cytotoxicity in SN4741 cells. Pretreatment for 1 h with quercetin before dieldrin application could significantly suppress dieldrin-induced apoptotic characteristics, including nuclear condensation, DNA fragmentation, and caspase-3/7 activation. Results showed that dieldrin-induced markers of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response such as chaperone GRP78, heme oxygenase-1, and phosphorylation of the α subunit of eukaryotic initiation factor 2. In addition, dieldrin reduced antiapoptotic Bcl-2 expression, but significantly elevated a proapoptotic transcription factor CHOP. Furthermore, RNA interference to CHOP almost completely repressed dieldrin-induced apoptotic cell death. Interestingly, quercetin prevented the changes in dieldrin-induced ER stress markers. These results suggest that quercetin may suppress the ER stress-CHOP pathway and dieldrin-induced apoptosis in dopaminergic neurons.

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