Purpose: In the present study, we have evaluated the pharmacokinetics and the in vivo prostate chemopreventive activity of broccoli sprouts.
Methods: The in vivo pharmacokinetic profiles of sulforaphane (SFN) and SFN- glutathione (GSH) conjugate in rats after oral administration of 200 mg and 500 mg broccoli sprouts were analyzed. Next, 8-week old TRAMP mice were fed with dietary broccoli sprouts at two dosages (60 and 240 mg/mouse/day) for 16 weeks, and the mice were sacrificed to examine the pharmacodynamic response on prostate tumor and some biomarkers.
Results: SFN was readily released and conjugated with GSH in the rats after oral administration of broccoli sprouts. TRAMP mice fed with 240 mg broccoli sprouts/mouse/day exhibited a significant retardation of prostate tumor growth. Western blot analysis revealed that the expression levels of Nrf2, HO-1, cleaved-Caspase-3, cleaved-PARP and Bax proteins were increased, but that of Keap1 and Bcl-XL proteins were decreased. In addition, the phosphorylation and/or the expression level of Akt and its downstream kinase and target proteins, e.g. mTOR, 4E-BP1 and cyclin D1, were reduced.
Conclusions: Our findings indicate that broccoli sprouts can serve as a good dietary source of SFN in vivo and that they have significant inhibitory effects on prostate tumorigenesis.