Intestinal mucositis is one of chemotherapeutics’ most common adverse effects, such as 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). Quercetin (QRC), a naturally occurring flavonoid, has approved antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Thus, in this article, the preventive and curative effects of emulsion and nano-emulsion formulations of QRC were investigated in a model of 5-FU-induced intestinal mucositis using biochemical, histopathological, and molecular approaches.
Thirty-six mice were divided into six different groups: Control (normal saline), 5-FU (a single dose of 5-FU 300 mg/kg), pre-treatment groups (pre-QRC, and pre-QRC-nano, receiving QRC 5 mg/kg emulsion and nano-emulsion before the induction of mucositis, respectively), and post-treatment groups (post-QRC, and post-QRC-nano, receiving QRC 5 mg/kg emulsion and nano-emulsion after the induction of mucositis, respectively).
The administration of quercetin emulsion and nano-emulsion could significantly alleviate the oxidant-antioxidant balance of mice serum samples and reverse the destructive histopathologic changes induced by 5-FU in the intestine tissue. Nevertheless, although the expression of both pro-inflammatory genes, NF-κB and HIF-1α, was decreased when quercetin was administered to mice, this reduction was not statistically significant.
The administration of quercetin emulsion and nano-emulsion formulations could ameliorate the oxidative damage induced by chemotherapeutics, such as the 5-FU. Therefore, if confirmed in further studies, it could be used in clinical settings as a preventive and curative agent to decrease such catastrophic adverse events in chemotherapy patients.

Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Inc.