Cruciferous vegetable components have been documented to exhibit anticancer properties. Targets of action span multiple mechanisms deregulated during cancer progression, ranging from altered carcinogen metabolism to the restoration of epigenetic machinery. Furthermore, the developing fetus is highly susceptible to changes in nutritional status and to environmental toxicants. Thus, we have exploited a mouse model of transplacental carcinogenesis to assess the impact of maternal dietary supplementation on cancer risk in offspring. In this study, transplacental and lactational exposure to a maternal dose of 15mg/Kg B.W. of dibenzo[def,p]chrysene (DBC) resulted in significant morbidity of offspring due to an aggressive T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma. As in previous studies, indole-3-carbinol (I3C, feed to the dam at 100, 500 or 1000ppm), derived from cruciferous vegetables, dose-dependently reduced lung tumor multiplicity and also increased offspring survival. Brussels sprout and broccoli sprout powders, selected for their relative abundance of I3C and the bioactive component sulforaphane (SFN), respectively, surprisingly enhanced DBC-induced morbidity and tumorigenesis when incorporated into the maternal diet at 10% wt/wt. Purified SFN, incorporated in the maternal diet at 400ppm, also decreased the latency of DBC-dependent morbidity. Interestingly, I3C abrogated the effect of SFN when the two purified compounds were administered in equimolar combination (500ppm I3C and 600ppm SFN). SFN metabolites measured in the plasma of neonates positively correlated with exposure levels via the maternal diet but not with offspring mortality. These findings provide justification for further study of the safety and bioactivity of cruciferous vegetable phytochemicals at supplemental concentrations during the perinatal period.
Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Inc.