Antioxidant effects of quercetin and naringenin are associated with impaired neutrophil microbicidal activity
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Naringenin and quercetin are considered antioxidant compounds with promising activity against oxidative damage in human cells. However, no reports have described their effects on reactive oxygen species (ROS) production by phagocytes during microbicidal activity. Thus, the present study evaluated the effects of naringenin and quercetin on ROS production, specifically hypochlorous acid (HOCl), and their involvement in the microbicidal activity of neutrophils. Naringenin and quercetin inhibited HOCl production through different systems, but this inhibition was more pronounced for quercetin, even in the cell-free systems. With regard to the microbicidal activity of neutrophils, both naringenin and quercetin completely inhibited the killing of Staphylococcus aureus. Altogether, these data indicate that the decrease in the oxidant activity of neutrophils induced by these compounds directly impaired the microbicidal activity of neutrophils. Naringenin and quercetin exerted their effects by controlling the effector mechanisms of ROS production, with both positive and negative effects of these antioxidant agents in oxidative stress conditions and on ROS in the microbicidal activity of phagocytes. The present results challenge the traditional view of antioxidants as improvers of pathological conditions. © 2013 Francielli de Cássia Yukari Nishimura et al.