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Sci Rep. 2016 Jul 26;6:30252. doi: 10.1038/srep30252.

Broccoli sprout extract prevents diabetic cardiomyopathy via Nrf2 activation in db/db T2DM mice.

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Cardiovascular Center, the First Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun, China.
Kosair Children's Hospital Research Institute, Department of Pediatrics, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, USA.
Wendy Novak Diabetes Care Center, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, USA.
Division of Endocrinology, Department of Pediatrics, the University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, USA.


To develop a clinic-relevant protocol for systemic up-regulation of NFE2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) to prevent diabetic cardiomyopathy (DCM), male db/db and age-matched wild-type (WT) mice were given sulforaphane (SFN, an Nrf2 activator) and its natural source, broccoli sprout extract (BSE) by gavage every other day for 3 months, with four groups: vehicle (0.1 ml/10 g), BSE-low dose (estimated SFN availability at 0.5 mg/kg), BSE-high dose (estimated SFN availability at 1.0 mg/kg), and SFN (0.5 mg/kg). Cardiac function and pathological changes (hypertrophy, fibrosis, inflammation and oxidative damage) were assessed by echocardiography and histopathological examination along with Western blot and real-time PCR, respectively. Both BSE and SFN significantly prevented diabetes-induced cardiac dysfunction, hypertrophy and fibrosis. Mechanistically, BSE, like SFN, significantly up-regulated Nrf2 transcriptional activity, evidenced by the increased Nrf2 nuclear accumulation and its downstream gene expression. This resulted in a significant prevention of cardiac oxidative damage and inflammation. For all these preventive effects, BSE at high dose provided a similar effect as did SFN. These results indicated that BSE at high dose prevents DCM in a manner congruent with SFN treatment. Therefore, it suggests that BSE could potentially be used as a natural and safe treatment against DCM via Nrf2 activation.

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