Sulforaphane mitigates mast cell-mediated allergic inflammatory reactions in in silico simulation and in vitro models

Miyeon Jeon, Jimin Lee, Hee Kyumg Lee, SungJun Cho, Jin-Ho Lim, Youngjin Choi, Sokcheon Pak, Hyun-Ja Jeong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Sulforaphane, a major ingredient isolated from Brassica oleracea var. italica (broccoli), is known to exhibit anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and anti-diabetic effects. In this study, we employed an in vitro model of phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate and a23187 (PMACI)-stimulated human mast cells (HMC-1 cells) to investigate the anti-allergic inflammatory effects and mechanisms of sulforaphane and Brassica oleracea var. italica extracts.
Methods: Cytokine levels were measured by ELISA and quantitative real-time-PCR methods. Caspase-1 activity was determined by caspase-1 assay. Binding mode of sulforaphane within caspase-1 was determined by molecular docking simulation. Protein expression was determined by Western blotting.
Results: Water extract of Brassica oleracea var. italica (WE) significantly reduced thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) secretion and caspase-1 activity on activated HMC-1 cells. In the molecular docking simulation and in vitro caspase-1 assays, sulforaphane regulated caspase-1 activity by docking with the identical binding site of caspase-1. Sulforaphane significantly inhibited the levels of inflammatory mediators including TSLP, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and IL-8 in a dose-dependent manner. Immunoblotting experiments revealed that sulforaphane and WE reduced translocation of NF-κBp65 into the nucleus and phosphorylation of IκBα in the cytosol. Furthermore, phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) was down-regulated by treatment with sulforaphane or WE.
Conclusion: Our findings suggest that sulforaphane and WE have anti-allergic inflammatory effects by intercepting caspase-1/NF-κB/MAPKs signaling pathways.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-83
Number of pages11
JournalImmunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology
Issue number2
Early online date10 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


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