3,3'-Diindolylmethane, a cruciferous vegetable derived synthetic anti-proliferative compound in thyroid disease.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2005 Nov 25;337(3):1019-25. Epub 2005 Oct 3. PMID: 16219298
Considerable epidemiological evidence exists to link thyroid disease with differing patterns of dietary consumption, in particular, cruciferous vegetables. We have been studying the anti-thyroid cancer (TCa) activity of indole-3-carbinol (I3C) found in cruciferous vegetables and its acid catalyzed dimer, 3,3'-diindolylmethane (DIM). There are no studies as yet to elucidate the effect of these compounds on the altered proliferative patterns in goiter or thyroid neoplasia. In this study, we tested the anti-proliferative effects of I3C and DIM on four different thyroid cancer cell lines representative of papillary (B-CPAP and 8505-C) and follicular carcinoma of the thyroid (CGTH-W-1 and ML-1), and primary human goiter cells. Cell survival and IC50 values for I3C and DIM were calculated by the XTT assay and cell cycle distribution analysis was done by flow cytometry. DIM was found to be a better anti-proliferative agent than I3C in both papillary and follicular TCa resulting in a greater cytotoxic effect at a concentration over three fold lower than predicted by the molar ratio of DIM and I3C. The anti-proliferative activity of DIM in follicular TCa was mediated by a G1 arrest followed by induction of apoptosis. DIM also inhibited the growth of primary goiter cells by 70% compared to untreated controls. Contrary to traditional belief that cruciferous vegetables are "goitrogenic", DIM has anti-proliferative effects in glandular thyroid proliferative disease. Our preclinical studies provide a strong rationale for the clinical exploration of DIM as an adjuvant to surgery in thyroid proliferative disease.