Phenylpropanoid-enriched broccoli seedling extract can reduce inflammatory markers and pain behavior

J Transl Med. 2023 Dec 19;21(1):922. doi: 10.1186/s12967-023-04777-1.


Background: Pain is a worldwide problem requiring an effective, affordable, non-addictive therapy. Using the edible plant broccoli, a growth protocol was developed to induce a concentrated combinatorial of potential anti-inflammatories in seedlings.

Methods: A growth method was utilized to produce a phenylpropanoid-rich broccoli sprout extract, referred to as Original Extract (OE). OE was concentrated and then resuspended for study of the effects on inflammation events. A rabbit disc model of inflammation and degeneration, and, a mouse model of pain behavior were used for in vivo and in vitro tests. To address aspects of mammalian metabolic processing, the OE was treated with the S9 liver microsome fraction derived from mouse, for use in a mouse in vivo study. Analytical chemistry was performed to identify major chemical species. Continuous variables were analyzed with a number of methods including ANOVA, and two-tailed t tests, as appropriate.

Results: In a rabbit spine (disc) injury model, inflammatory markers were reduced, and levels of regenerative markers were increased as a result of OE treatment, both in vivo and in vitro. In a mouse pain behavioral model, after treatment with S9 liver microsome fraction, the resultant extract significantly reduced early and late pain behavior in response to a pain stimulus. The OE itself reduced pain behavior in the mouse pain model, but did not achieve the level of significance observed for S9-treated extract. Analytical chemistry undertaken on the extract constituents revealed identities of the chemical species in OE, and how S9 liver microsome fraction treatment altered species identities and proportions.

Conclusions: In vitro and in vivo results indicate that the OE, and S9-treated OE broccoli extracts are worthwhile materials to develop a non-opiate inflammation and pain-reducing treatment.

Keywords: Abiotic stress; Anti-inflammatory; Broccoli; Extract; Inflammatory pain; Natural products; Non-opiate; Phenylpropanoid; Polyphenol; Seedling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brassica*
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Mammals
  • Mice
  • Pain / drug therapy
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Rabbits
  • Seedlings


  • Plant Extracts