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J Cell Mol Med. 2012 Apr;16(4):836-43. doi: 10.1111/j.1582-4934.2011.01367.x.

Anti-inflammatory potential of allyl-isothiocyanate--role of Nrf2, NF-(κ) B and microRNA-155.

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Institute of Human Nutrition and Food Science, Christian-Albrechts-University, Kiel, Germany.


In this study, the underlying mechanisms of the potential anti-inflammatory properties of allyl-isothiocyanate (AITC) were analysed in vitro and in vivo. Murine RAW264.7 macrophages stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) were supplemented with increasing concentrations of AITC. In addition, C57BL/6 mice (n= 10 per group) were fed a pro-inflammatory high-fat diet and AITC was administered orally via gavage for 7 days. Biomarkers of inflammation were determined both in cultured cells and in mice. AITC significantly decreased tumour necrosis factor α mRNA levels and its secretion in LPS stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages. Furthermore, gene expression of other pro-inflammatory markers including interleukin-1β and inducible nitric oxide synthase were down-regulated following AITC treatment. AITC decreased nuclear p65 protein levels, a subunit of the transcription factor NF-κB. Importantly, our data indicate that AITC significantly attenuated microRNA-155 levels in LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages in a dose-dependent manner. The anti-inflammatory effects of AITC were accompanied by an increase in Nrf2 nuclear translocation and consequently by an increase of mRNA and protein levels of the Nrf2 target gene heme-oxygenase 1. AITC was slightly less potent than sulforaphane (used as a positive control) in down-regulating inflammation in LPS-stimulated macrophages. A significant increase in nuclear Nrf2 and heme-oxygenase 1 gene expression and only a moderate down-regulation of interleukin-1β and microRNA-155 levels due to AITC was found in mouse liver. Present data suggest that AITC exhibits potent anti-inflammatory activity in cultured macrophages in vitro but has only little anti-inflammatory activity in mice in vivo.

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