Induction of differentiation in human promyelocytic cells by the isothiocyanate sulforaphane.
Platelets. 2004 Aug;15(5):287-92. PMID: 18610742
Department of Pharmacology, University of Bologna, Italy. firstname.lastname@example.org
BACKGROUND: The consumption of cruciferous vegetables has long been associated with a reduced risk for the occurrence of cancer at various sites. This protective effect is associated with their isothiocyanate content. Sulforaphane (SFN) is by far the isothiocyanate most extensively studied to uncover the mechanisms behind this chemoprotection. In the present study, the ability of SFN to induce cytodifferentiation and apoptosis in a leukemia cell line was investigated. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Cells were treated with different concentrations of SFN (0-100 microM). Analysis of cell differentiation was performed by nonspecific/specific acid esterase activity. Apoptosis induction was performed by flow cytometry. RESULTS: SFN induced cytodifferentiation toward both granulocytic and macrophagic lineage, mediated by the involvement of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/protein kinase C. It also caused a significant increase in the apoptotic cell fraction. CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that SFN may be a promising antileukemic agent and should encourage further investigation as regards its chemotherapeutic potential.