Select Phytochemicals Suppress Human T

Select phytochemicals suppress human T-lymphocytes and mouse splenocytes suggesting their use in autoimmunity and transplantation.

Nutr Res. 2009 Aug;29(8):568-78.

Hushmendy S, Jayakumar L, Hahn AB, Bhoiwala D, Bhoiwala DL, Crawford DR.

Center for Immunology and Microbial Disease MC-151, The Albany Medical College, Albany, NY 12208, USA.

We have considered a novel “rational” gene targeting approach for treating pathologies whose genetic bases are defined using select phytochemicals. We reason that one such potential application of this approach would be conditions requiring immunosuppression such as autoimmune disease and transplantation, where the genetic target is clearly defined; i.e., interleukin-2 and associated T-cell activation. Therefore, we hypothesized that select phytochemicals can suppress T-lymphocyte proliferation both in vitro and in vivo. The immunosuppressive effects of berry extract, curcumin, quercetin, sulforaphane, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), resveratrol, alpha-tocopherol, vitamin C and sucrose were tested on anti-CD3 plus anti-CD28-activated primary human T-lymphocytes in culture. Curcumin, sulforaphane, quercetin, berry extract and EGCG all significantly inhibited T-cell proliferation, and this effect was not due to toxicity. IL-2 production was also reduced by these agents, implicating this important T-cell cytokine in proliferation suppression. Except for berry extract, these same agents also inhibited mouse splenic T-cell proliferation and IL-2 production. Subsequent in vivo studies revealed that quercetin (but not sulforaphane) modestly suppressed mouse splenocyte proliferation following supplementation of BALB/c mice diets. This effect was especially prominent if corrected for the loss of supplement “recall” as observed in cultured T-cells. These results suggest the potential use of these select phytochemicals for treating autoimmune and transplant patients, and support our strategy of using select phytochemicals to treat genetically-defined pathologies, an approach that we believe is simple, healthy, and cost-effective


Note from ISS:  Several crucifer sprouts including broccoli sprouts are currently the most potent natural source of sulforaphane known.  They often produce 10 to 100 times the amount of sulforaphane as their corresponding mature vegetables.

“Broccoli sprouts have a very high concentration of sulforaphane since this compound originates in the seed and is not made in the plant as it grows. One sprout contains all of the sulforaphane that is present in a full grown broccoli plant.” 

“Nutrition and cancer: a review of the evidence for an anti-cancer diet” Nutr J. 2004 Oct 20;3:19, Donaldson MS. Hallelujah Acres Foundation, 13553 Vantage Hwy, Ellensburg, WA 98926, USA.