Sulforaphane effects on oxidative stress parameters in culture of adult cardiomyocytes

Biomed Pharmacother. 2018 Aug;104:165-171. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2018.05.031. Epub 2018 May 15.


The aim of this study was to analyse the effect of sulforaphane (SFN) in cultures of adult cardiomyocytes, evaluating oxidative stress at different times. Cells were isolated, cultured, and divided into 4 groups: Control, SFN (5μM), H2O2 (5μM), and SFN+H2O2 (5μM both), and subdivided into groups undergoing 1 or 24 h of SFN incubation. After 1 h of incubation, reactive oxygen species production was 40% lower in the SFN group than the Control, and lipid peroxidation was 63% higher in the H2O2 group than the Control, and it was reduced in both of the SFN groups. The SOD activity was 59% higher in groups incubated for 24 h than in those incubated for 1 h. Protein expression of SOD-1 and SOD-2 was higher in the 24-h groups compared to the 1-h groups (55% and 24%, respectively). The Nrf2 protein expression in the 1-h groups was 17% higher than in the 24-h groups, and the SFN + H2O2 group had 40% more Nrf2 than the Control in the 1-h groups. Unlike Nrf2, the PGC-1α expression was 69% higher in the 24-h groups in relation to the 1-h groups. Regarding the 24-h groups, the SFN and SFN+H2O2 groups were higher than the Control (32% and 33%, respectively), and the SFN+H2O2 group was increased (21%) compared to H2O2. SFN had a protective action against oxidative damage, but had no effect on the antioxidant enzymes analyzed. The different responses in the expression of Nrf2 and PGC-1α in relation to the incubation times, draws attention to the importance of establishing a timeline of the action of SFN, since there appears to be a temporal difference in its mechanism in adult cardiomyocytes.

Keywords: Adult cardiomyocytes; Cell culture; Nrf2; Oxidative stress; PGC-1α; Sulforaphane.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Cell Line
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / pharmacology
  • Isothiocyanates / pharmacology*
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Male
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / drug effects*
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / metabolism
  • NF-E2-Related Factor 2 / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor Gamma Coactivator 1-alpha / metabolism
  • Protective Agents / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Sulfoxides
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Isothiocyanates
  • NF-E2-Related Factor 2
  • Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor Gamma Coactivator 1-alpha
  • Protective Agents
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Sulfoxides
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • sulforaphane