Effect of allyl isothiocyanate on developmental toxicity in exposed Xenopus laevis embryos

Toxicol Rep. 2014 Dec 17;2:222-227. doi: 10.1016/j.toxrep.2014.12.005. eCollection 2015.

Abstract

The pungent natural compound allyl isothiocyanate isolated from the seeds of Cruciferous (Brassica) plants such as mustard is reported to exhibit numerous beneficial health-promoting antimicrobial, antifungal, anticarcinogenic, cardioprotective, and neuroprotective properties. Because it is also reported to damage DNA and is toxic to aquatic organisms, the objective of the present study was to determine whether it possesses teratogenic properties. The frog embryo teratogenesis assay-Xenopus (FETAX) was used to determine the following measures of developmental toxicity of the allyl isothiocyanate: (a) 96-h LC50, defined as the median concentration causing 50% embryo lethality; (b) 96-h EC50, defined as the median concentration causing 50% malformations of the surviving embryos; and (c) teratogenic malformation index (TI), equal to 96-h LC50/96-h EC50. The quantitative results and the photographs of embryos before and after exposure suggest that allyl isothiocyanate seems to exhibit moderate teratogenic properties. The results also indicate differences in the toxicity of allyl isothiocyanate toward exposed embryos observed in the present study compared to reported adverse effects of allyl isothiocyanate in fish, rodents, and humans. The significance of the results for food safety and possible approaches to protect against adverse effects of allyl isothiocyanate are discussed.

Keywords: Allyl isothiocyanate; EC50, the median concentration causing 50% malformations of surviving embryos; FETAX, frog embryo teratogenesis assay-Xenopus; Food additive; Food safety; LC50, the median concentration causing 50% embryo lethality; LOEC, lowest-observed effect concentration for mortality and malformation; NOEC, no-observed-effect concentration for mortality and malformation; TI, teratogenic malformation index; Teratogenicity; Xenopus embryos.