Plant Foods for Human Nutrition

, Volume 65, Issue 3, pp 193–199 | Cite as

Dietary Broccoli Sprouts Protect Against Myocardial Oxidative Damage and Cell Death During Ischemia-Reperfusion

  • Masoumeh AkhlaghiEmail author
  • Brian Bandy


Cruciferous vegetables are known for antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic effects. In the current study we asked whether dietary broccoli sprouts can protect the heart from ischemia-reperfusion. Rats were fed either control diet (sham and control groups) or a diet mixed with 2% dried broccoli sprouts for 10 days. After 10 days the isolated hearts were subjected to ischemia for 20 min and reperfusion for 2 h, and evaluated for cell death, oxidative damage, and Nrf2-regulated phase 2 enzyme activities. Broccoli sprouts feeding inhibited markers of necrosis (lactate dehydrogenase release) and apoptosis (caspase-3 activity) by 78–86%, and decreased indices of oxidative stress (thiobarbituric acid reactive substances and aconitase inactivation) by 82–116%. While broccoli sprouts increased total glutathione and activities of the phase 2 enzymes glutamate cysteine ligase and quinone reductase in liver, they did not affect these in ischemic-reperfused heart. While the mechanism is not clear, the results show that a relatively short dietary treatment with broccoli sprouts can strongly protect the heart against oxidative stress and cell death caused by ischemia-reperfusion.


Antioxidant phytochemicals Broccoli sprouts Dietary treatment Ischemia-reperfusion Phase 2 enzymes Rat heart 





glutamate cysteine ligase


reduced glutathione


oxidized glutathione




lactate dehydrogenase


phenylmethylsulphonyl fluoride


quinone reductase


thiobarbituric acid reactive substances



This work was supported by grants from the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC). M. Akhlaghi was supported by a PhD fellowship from the Iranian Ministry of Health and Medical Education. Thanks to Dr. Bernhard H. Juurlink and Dr. Paul Lee for the broccoli seeds and helpful advice.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Health and NutritionShiraz University of Medical SciencesShirazIran
  2. 2.College of Pharmacy and NutritionUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada

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