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J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Jan 11;60(1):100-7. doi: 10.1021/jf203800d. Epub 2011 Dec 13.

Effect of diallyl sulfide on in vitro and in vivo Nrf2-mediated pulmonic antioxidant enzyme expression via activation ERK/p38 signaling pathway.

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  • 1Department of Food Science and Biotechnology, National Chung Hsing University, 250 Kuokuang Road, Taiching 402, Taiwan.


Increasing oxidative stress is intimately involved in the pathogenesis of lung failure. Nuclear factor-erythroid 2 related factor 2 (Nrf2) is a key element in redox homeostasis. Nrf2 regulates antioxidant-associated genes that are often the target of phytochemicals in chemoprevention. This study evaluated the effect of diallyl sulfide (DAS), which is present in garlic, on the expression of antioxidant enzymes in the rat lung and the Nrf2 modulation in MRC-5 lung cells. DAS increased the activities of glutathione S-transferase, glutathione reductase, and catalase as well as the GSH/GSSG ratio compared with the lung of untreated control rats (p < 0.05). The pulmonic superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1, and catalase mRNA levels were also significantly increased (p < 0.05) after DAS treatment. Following DAS treatment, DAS level was measured in the plasma after 7 days of oral administration, and the C(max) value was 15 ± 4.2 μM. The total amount of pulmonic Nrf2 and the nuclear translocation of Nrf2 were elevated in DAS-treated rats, clarifying the effect of DAS on the modulation of antioxidant enzymes. Furthermore, DAS could induce nuclear translocation of Nrf2 via ERK/p38 signaling pathway in lung MRC-5 cells. This study demonstrates that DAS administration can significantly induce the activity of antioxidant enzymes in rat lungs and suggests a possible use for DAS as a dietary preventive agent against oxidative stress-induced lung injury.

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