Dietary glucoraphanin prevents the onset of psychosis in the adult offspring after maternal immune activation

Sci Rep. 2018 Feb 1;8(1):2158. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-20538-3.


Maternal immune activation (MIA) contributes to behavioral abnormalities relevant to schizophrenia in adult offspring, although the molecular mechanisms underlying MIA-induced behavioral changes remain unclear. Here we demonstrated that dietary intake of glucoraphanin (GF), the precursor of a natural antioxidant sulforaphane, during juvenile and adolescent stages prevented cognitive deficits and loss of parvalbumin (PV) immunoreactivity in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) of adult offspring after MIA. Gene set enrichment analysis by RNA sequencing showed that MIA caused abnormal expression of centrosome-related genes in the PFC and hippocampus of adult offspring, and that dietary intake of GF improved these abnormal gene expressions. Particularly, MIA increased the expression of suppressor of fermentation-induced loss of stress resistance protein 1 (Sfi1) mRNA in the PFC and hippocampus of adult offspring, and dietary intake of GF prevented the expression of Sfi1 mRNA in these regions. Interestingly, we found altered expression of SFI1 in the postmortem brains and SFI1 mRNA in hair follicle cells from patients with schizophrenia compared with controls. Overall, these data suggest that centrosome-related genes may play a role in the onset of psychosis in offspring after MIA. Therefore, dietary intake of GF-rich vegetables in high-risk psychosis subjects may prevent the transition to psychosis in young adulthood.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Brain / immunology*
  • Brain / pathology
  • Diet*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Glucosinolates / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Imidoesters / administration & dosage*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oximes
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects / diet therapy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects / immunology*
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects / physiopathology
  • Psychotic Disorders / etiology
  • Psychotic Disorders / pathology
  • Psychotic Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Schizophrenia / complications*
  • Sulfoxides


  • Glucosinolates
  • Imidoesters
  • Oximes
  • Sulfoxides
  • glucoraphanin