Protective effects of diallyl sulfide on N-nitrosodimethylamine-induced immunosuppression in mice

Cancer Lett. 1998 Dec 11;134(1):73-9. doi: 10.1016/s0304-3835(98)00246-8.


Diallyl sulfide (DAS), a flavor component of garlic that has been used as a food additive, exerts chemopreventive effects at several organ sites in rodents after administration of chemical carcinogens possibly by inhibiting carcinogen activation via cytochrome P450-mediated oxidative metabolism. In this study, we investigated the protective effect of DAS on the N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA)-induced immunosuppression of humoral and cellular responses in BALB/c mice and the possible mechanisms involved in this protection. We observed that oral administration of DAS prior to NDMA treatment for 14 consecutive days blocked the NDMA-induced suppression of the antibody response to a T-cell-dependent antigen, sheep erythrocytes, and the lymphoproliferative response to the T-cell and the B-cell mitogens in dose-dependent manners. Treatment of mice with DAS resulted in a significant decrease of cytochrome P450 2E1-dependent p-nitrophenol hydroxylase and NDMA demethylase activities. The results show that the protective effects of DAS against the NDMA-induced immunotoxicity may, at least in part, be due to its ability to block bioactivation of NDMA mainly by the inhibition of cytochrome P450 2E1.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Allyl Compounds / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Antibody Formation / drug effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Carcinogens / adverse effects*
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2E1 / metabolism
  • Dimethylnitrosamine / adverse effects*
  • Erythrocytes / immunology
  • Garlic / chemistry
  • Immunity, Cellular / drug effects
  • Immunosuppression*
  • Lipopolysaccharides / pharmacology
  • Lymphocytes / cytology
  • Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Microsomes, Liver / drug effects
  • Microsomes, Liver / enzymology
  • Mitogens / pharmacology
  • Plants, Medicinal
  • Sheep
  • Spleen / cytology
  • Spleen / drug effects
  • Sulfides / pharmacology*


  • Allyl Compounds
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Carcinogens
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Mitogens
  • Sulfides
  • allyl sulfide
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2E1
  • Dimethylnitrosamine