, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 83–91 | Cite as

Sulforaphane induces inhibition of human umbilical vein endothelial cells proliferation by apoptosis

  • Masahiro Asakage
  • Nelson H. Tsuno
  • Joji Kitayama
  • Takeshi Tsuchiya
  • Satomi Yoneyama
  • Jun Yamada
  • Yurai Okaji
  • Shoichi Kaisaki
  • Takuya Osada
  • Koki Takahashi
  • Hirokazu Nagawa
Original Paper


Sulforaphane (SUL), one of the isothiocyanates (ITCs), has recently been focused due to its inhibitory effects on tumor cell growth in vitro and in vivo, which is dependent on the direct effect on cancer cells. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the potential anti-angiogenic effect of SUL and its mechanism of action. Using the human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) as a model of angiogenesis, we investigated the effect of SUL on the various steps of angiogenesis, including the proliferation of endothelial cells, tubular formation, and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) production. Sulforaphane induced a dose-dependent decrease in the proliferative activity of endothelial cells, which was dependent on cell apoptosis. Also SUL inhibited tube formation on matrigel, but did not affect MMP production. The present results demonstrate the anti-angiogenic activity of SUL and its potential use as an anti-cancer drug is suggested.


Angiogenesis inhibitors Apoptosis Cell proliferation Endothelial cells Sulforaphane 



Acidic fibroblast growth factor


Dimethyl sulfoxide


Endothelial cells


Fetal calf serum


Human umbilical vein endothelial cells




Matrix metalloproteinase


Phosphate-buffered saline




Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate-biotin nick end labeling


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This study was supported partly by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan, partly by a grant from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan, and partly by a grant from the Sankyo Foundation of Life Science.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masahiro Asakage
    • 1
  • Nelson H. Tsuno
    • 1
    • 2
  • Joji Kitayama
    • 1
  • Takeshi Tsuchiya
    • 1
  • Satomi Yoneyama
    • 1
  • Jun Yamada
    • 1
  • Yurai Okaji
    • 2
  • Shoichi Kaisaki
    • 1
  • Takuya Osada
    • 1
  • Koki Takahashi
    • 2
  • Hirokazu Nagawa
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Surgical OncologyUniversity of TokyoTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Faculty of Medicine, Department of Transfusion MedicineUniversity of TokyoTokyoJapan

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