The flavonoid quercetin inhibits titanium dioxide (TiO 2 )-induced chronic arthritis in mice

Sergio M. Borghi, Sandra S. Mizokami, Felipe A. Pinho-Ribeiro, Victor Fattori, Jefferson Crespigio, Juliana T. Clemente-Napimoga, Marcelo H. Napimoga, Dimitrius L. Pitol, João P.M. Issa, Sandra Y. Fukada, Rubia Casagrande, Waldiceu A. Verri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Titanium dioxide (TiO 2 ) is a common component of orthopedic prosthesis. However, prosthesis wear releases TiO 2 , which induces inflammation and osteolysis in peri-prosthetic tissues. Quercetin is a flavonoid widely present in human diet, which presents biological activities such as antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Therefore, the effect of intraperitoneal treatment with quercetin in TiO 2 -induced arthritis model was evaluated. In the first set of experiments, mice received injection of TiO 2 (0.1–3 mg/knee joint) and articular mechanical hyperalgesia, edema and histopathology analysis were performed in a 30 days protocol. The dose of 3 mg of TiO 2 showed the most harmful effect, and was chosen to the following experiments. Subsequently, mice received 3 mg of TiO 2 followed by post-treatment with quercetin during 30 days. Quercetin (10–100 mg/kg) inhibited in a dose-dependent manner TiO 2 -induced knee joint mechanical hyperalgesia, edema and leukocyte recruitment and did not induce damage in major organs such as liver, kidney and stomach. The dose of 30 mg/kg was chosen for the subsequent analysis, and reduced histopathological changes such as leukocyte infiltration, vascular proliferation and synovial hyperplasia (pannus formation) on day 30 after TiO 2 challenge. The protective analgesic and anti-inflammatory mechanisms of quercetin included the inhibition of TiO 2 -induced neutrophil and macrophage recruitment, proteoglycan degradation, oxidative stress, cytokine production (TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-10), COX-2 mRNA expression, and bone resorption as well as activation of Nrf2/HO-1 signaling pathway. These results demonstrate the potential therapeutic applicability of the dietary flavonoid quercetin to reduce pain and inflammatory damages associated with prosthesis wear process-induced arthritis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-95
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Nutritional Biochemistry
StatePublished - Mar 2018


  • Arthritis
  • Cytokine
  • Hyperalgesia
  • Osteolysis
  • Quercetin
  • Titanium dioxide


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