Cytotoxic and genotoxic potential of food-borne nitriles in a liver in vitro model.
Isothiocyanates are the most intensively studied breakdown products of glucosinolates from Brassica plants and well recognized for their pleiotropic effects against cancer but also for their genotoxic potential. However, knowledge about the bioactivity of glucosinolate-borne nitriles in foods is very poor. As determined by GC-MS, broccoli glucosinolates mainly degrade to nitriles as breakdown products. The cytotoxicity of nitriles in human HepG2 cells and primary murine hepatocytes was marginal as compared to isothiocyanates. Toxicity of nitriles was not enhanced in CYP2E1-overexpressing HepG2 cells. In contrast, the genotoxic potential of nitriles was found to be comparable to isothiocyanates. DNA damage was persistent over a certain time period and CYP2E1-overexpression further increased the genotoxic potential of the nitriles. Based on actual in vitro data, no indications are given that food-borne nitriles could be relevant for cancer prevention, but could pose a certain genotoxic risk under conditions relevant for food consumption.
Kupke, F.; Herz, C.; Hanschen, F.S.; Platz, S.; Odongo, G.A.; Helmig, S.; Bartolomé Rodríguez, M.M.; Schreiner, M.; Rohn, S.; Lamy, E. 2016. Cytotoxic and genotoxic potential of food-borne nitriles in a liver in vitro model. Scientific Reports 6:37631, 1-11.