Int J Med Sci 2014; 11(5):528-537. doi:10.7150/ijms.8220 This issue

Research Paper

Rutin, a Flavonoid and Principal Component of Saussurea Involucrata, Attenuates Physical Fatigue in a Forced Swimming Mouse Model

Kang-Yi Su2,3*, Chao Yuan Yu1*, Yue-Wen Chen1, Yi-Tsau Huang4, Chun-Ting Chen1, Hsueh-Fu Wu1, Yi-Lin Sophia Chen1✉

1. Department of Biotechnology and Animal Science, National Ilan University, Ilan, Taiwan;
2. Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences and Medical Biotechnology, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei 100, Taiwan;
3. Department of Laboratory Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei 100, Taiwan;
4. National Research Institute of Chinese Medicine, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taipei, Taiwan.
* Kang-Yi Su and Chao Yuan Yu contributed equally to this work.

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Su KY, Yu CY, Chen YW, Huang YT, Chen CT, Wu HF, Chen YLS. Rutin, a Flavonoid and Principal Component of Saussurea Involucrata, Attenuates Physical Fatigue in a Forced Swimming Mouse Model. Int J Med Sci 2014; 11(5):528-537. doi:10.7150/ijms.8220. Available from

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This study investigated the antifatigue effects of rutin, a flavonoid extracted from the ethyl acetate extract of S. involucrata. Mice were subjected to a weight-loaded forced swim test (WFST) on alternate days for 3 wk. Rutin was administered orally to the mice for 7 days in dosages of 15, 30, and 60 mg/kg body weight, and several biomarkers of physical fatigue were evaluated: swimming time, change in body weight, lipid peroxidation, lactic acid (LA), glycogen, and the activities of the antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx). On Day 7, the rutin-treated mice had a 3-fold longer exhaustive swimming time than the control mice, as well as significantly reduced blood LA concentrations. The 15, 30, and 60 mg/kg body weight rutin-supplemented groups displayed 11.2%, 22.5%, and 37.7% reduced malondialdehyde (MDA) concentrations, respectively, in brain and muscle tissues compared with the control exercised group. Our results indicated that the administration of rutin protected the mice against the depletion of SOD and GPx activities significantly. Following 7 days of rutin treatment, we sacrificed the mice and analyzed their soleus muscle and brain for peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α coactivator (PGC-1α) and sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) mRNA expression. We observed that rutin treatment increased PGC-1α and SIRT1 mRNA and protein expression. The changes in these markers of mitochondrial biogenesis were associated with increased maximal endurance capacity. The application of 2D gel electrophoresis to analyze the rutin-responsive protein profiles in the WFST mouse brain further revealed the upregulation of the CB1 cannabinoid receptor-interacting protein 1, myelin basic protein, Rho GDP dissociation inhibitor (GDI) alpha, and TPI, indicating that rutin might inhibit anxiety through the upregulation of the expression of anxiety-associated proteins. Western blot analysis of MAPK expression further confirmed the antianxiety effects of rutin. Our study results thus indicate that rutin treatment ameliorates the various impairments associated with physical fatigue.

Keywords: rutin, S. involucrate, physical fatigue