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Mutat Res. 2013 Feb 18;751(1):45-51. doi: 10.1016/j.mrgentox.2012.10.013. Epub 2012 Nov 24.

Effect of sprout extract from Tuscan black cabbage on xenobiotic-metabolizing and antioxidant enzymes in rat liver.

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Department of Pharmacy and Biotechnology, Molecular Toxicology Unit, Alma Mater Studiorum-University of Bologna, Via Irnerio 48, 40126 Bologna, Italy.


In recent years, health protection by natural products has received considerable attention, and a multitude of nutraceuticals have been characterized and their use promoted. Dietary consumption of Cruciferous vegetables, rich in glucosinolates (GLs), and their myrosinase-mediated hydrolysis products isothiocyanates (ITCs), were associated with reductions in cancer risk. In this study, the chemo-preventive potential of sprout extract of Tuscan black cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. var. acephala subvar. Laciniata L.) (TBCSE), through modulation of the xenobiotic-metabolizing apparatus and antioxidant defenses, was investigated in Sprague-Dawley rat liver. TBCSE was administered either orally or intraperitoneally, at a dose of 15mg/kg b.w., daily for twenty-one consecutive days, in the absence or presence of exogenous myrosinase, β-thioglucoside glucohydrolase (MYR), to distinguish the effects of intact GLs and ITCs, in the context of the extract. A complex, mild modulation pattern of P450-related monooxygenases was observed, mainly regarding CYP content (up to 36% loss), NADPH cytochrome (P450) c-reductase (up to 26% loss), CYP1A1 (up to 23% loss), but no evident distinctions among the effects of the extracts containing GLs or ITCs, were noted. In contrast, significant inductions of phase-II enzymes (up to 107% for UDP-glucuronosyl-transferase, and up to 36% for glutathione S-transferase) were recorded only where the GLs to ITCs conversion had occurred. A boosting effect on catalase (up to 38%), NAD(P)H:quinone reductase (up to 70%), glutathione reductase and glutathione peroxidase (up to 10%) was also recorded, suggesting an indirect antioxidant capacity of the extracts. Overall, the general phase-I inhibition, together with the up-regulation of detoxifying phase-II and antioxidant enzymes, exerted by the TBCSE supplementation, seem to be in line with the classical chemopreventive theory, but whether the addition of exogenous MYR is relevant, still remains to be clarified. These results are in support of the potential health-promoting application of TBCSE, as a nutraceutical.

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