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Respir Med. 2013 Mar;107(3):472-5. doi: 10.1016/j.rmed.2012.11.006. Epub 2012 Nov 26.

Sulforaphane induces SLPI secretion in the nasal mucosa.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7310, USA.


Cells lining the respiratory tract are equipped with mechanisms that dampen the effects of oxidative stress. Nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (Nrf2) is a mediator involved in regulating oxidative stress. Recent data indicate Nrf2 also controls expression of secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (SLPI). Sulforaphane (SFN), an isothiocyanate found in cruciferous vegetables, enhances Nrf2 activity. Therefore, we hypothesized that SFN supplementation induces SLPI secretion in the nasal mucosa in an Nrf2 dependent manner. Healthy nonsmoking adults ingested SFN-containing broccoli shake homogenate (BSH) for 3 consecutive days. Nasal lavage fluid (NLF) was collected before and after BSH ingestion and analyzed for SLPI protein levels. In follow up in vitro experiments, differentiated primary nasal epithelial cells were used to evaluate the relationship between SFN, Nrf2, and SLPI. Epithelial cells were transduced with Nrf2-specific shRNA to examine the regulatory role of Nrf2 on SLPI expression. Supplementation with BSH significantly increased SLPI levels in NLF. SFN supplementation in vitro significantly enhanced SLPI secretion and these effects were significantly decreased in cells transduced with Nrf2-specific shRNA. Our data support a relationship between nutritional supplementation, Nrf2 activation, and SLPI secretion. Therefore, ingestion of SFN-containing foods has therapeutic potential to augment SLPI expression in the nasal mucosa.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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