Glucobrassicin, a quantitatively significant constituent of Brassica vegetables, gives rise to indole-3-carbinol (I3C) and its dimer di-indolylmethane (DIM) when the vegetables are chewed. I3C and DIM have been extensively studied with respect to their anti-carcinogenic properties. However, the presumed intermediate isothiocyanate in their formation, indole-3-methyl isothiocyanate (IMITC), has to our knowledge never been observed, despite the fact that isothiocyanates derived from cruciferous vegetables are known to have anti-carcinogenic properties. Therefore, we investigated the formation and presence in human urine of IMITC by analyzing for its N-acetylcysteine conjugate, IMITC-NAC, in order to gain a more complete understanding of the biochemical pathways leading to formation of I3C and DIM upon consumption of vegetables rich in glucobrassicin. Standard IMITC-NAC was synthesized and its structure confirmed by NMR and MS. IMITC-NAC was identified in extracts of Brussels sprouts chopped in the presence of N-acetylcysteine. An LC-ESI–MS/MS-SRM method for analysis of IMITC-NAC, with [13C,15N]IMITC-NAC as internal standard, was developed and validated. Then, ten subjects (7 females) consumed a salad of Brussels sprouts and cabbage (containing 100–500 μmol glucobrassicin) once daily for 3 days. Urine was collected at intervals up to 24 h after vegetable consumption. Levels of IMITC-NAC in the urine of these 10 subjects ranged from 0.2 to 30.2 pmol/mL urine. These results provide the first evidence for the presumed intermediacy of IMITC in the formation of I3C and DIM in humans who consumed Brussels sprouts and cabbage as a source of glucobrassicin.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Journal of Chromatography B: Analytical Technologies in the Biomedical and Life Sciences|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2018|
- Cruciferous vegetables
- Indole-3-methyl isothiocayanate