Sci Rep, 2016, Vol.6(1), pp.30252-30252
To develop a clinic-relevant protocol for systemic up-regulation of NFE2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) to prevent diabetic cardiomyopathy (DCM), male db/db and age-matched wild-type (WT) mice were given sulforaphane (SFN, an Nrf2 activator) and its natural source, broccoli sprout extract (BSE) by gavage every other day for 3 months, with four groups: vehicle (0.1 ml/10 g), BSE-low dose (estimated SFN availability at 0.5 mg/kg), BSE-high dose (estimated SFN availability at 1.0 mg/kg) and SFN (0.5 mg/kg). Cardiac function and pathological changes (hypertrophy, fibrosis, inflammation and oxidative damage) were assessed by echocardiography and histopathological examination along with Western blot and real-time PCR, respectively. Both BSE and SFN significantly prevented diabetes-induced cardiac dysfunction, hypertrophy and fibrosis. Mechanistically, BSE, like SFN, significantly up-regulated Nrf2 transcriptional activity, evidenced by the increased Nrf2 nuclear accumulation and its downstream gene expression. This resulted in a significant prevention of cardiac oxidative damage and inflammation. For all these preventive effects, BSE at high dose provided a similar effect as did SFN. These results indicated that BSE at high dose prevents DCM in a manner congruent with SFN treatment. Therefore, it suggests that BSE could potentially be used as a natural and safe treatment against DCM via Nrf2 activation.