Sulforaphane-mediated reduction of aflatoxin B1-N7-guanine in rat liver DNA: Impacts of strain and sex

Jeannette L.A. Fiala, Patricia Egner, Nirachara Wiriyachan, Mathuros Ruchirawat, Kevin H. Kensler, Gerald N. Wogan, John D. Groopman, Robert G. Croy, John M. Essigmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is a DNA-binding toxin that contributes to the burden of liver cancer in tropical areas. AFB1-DNA adducts are powerful biomarkers that discern individual and population risk from exposure to this carcinogen. The discovery of concordance between the metabolic pathways of the male Fischer rat and humans allowed data from rats to guide the development of chemoprevention strategies employed in clinical trials in highrisk regions. In this study, the variables of strain and sex are studied in the rat model, as a step toward understanding how ethnic differences and sex influence DNA adduct formation and the induction of enzymes by chemoprotective agents. Sulforaphane (SF), which induces phase II enzymes including glutathione S-transferases (GSTs), was evaluated for its ability to induce GST activity and reduce the AFB1-DNA adducts in livers of both sexes of two rat strains that differ in susceptibility to AFB1 hepatocarcinogenesis. A dose-dependent relationship was found for SF for both induction of GSTand reduction in of AFB1-N7-guanine in both Fischer (sensitive to AFB1) and Sprague-Dawley rats (relatively resistant). Sprague-Dawley rats exhibited the greatest increase in GST levels and the largest reduction in AFB1-N7-guanine in liver DNA. Males and females of each strain were also compared to determine if the ability of SF to induce GST and reduce AFB1-N7-guanine correlated with gender differences in sensitivity to AFB1 carcinogenesis. No gender-specific responses to SF were observed. These results support the view that SF induction of liver GST activity may play a role in its chemoprotective activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-62
Number of pages6
JournalToxicological Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2011


  • Aflatoxin B1
  • Chemoprevention
  • DNA adducts
  • Glutathione S-Transferase
  • Liver cancer
  • Sulforaphane

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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