Poster Topical Area: Aging and Chronic Disease

Location: Auditorium

Poster Board Number: 121

P01-103 - Cooked and raw broccoli are both effective at protecting against dextran sulfate sodium-induced colitis in mice

Sunday, Jun 10
8:00 AM – 6:00 PM


Broccoli is reported to have anti-inflammation properties. Raw broccoli was used in most past studies, whereas most consumers prefer cooked broccoli. This study compares the effectiveness of lightly cooked broccoli (CB) with greatly diminished myrosinase activity and raw broccoli (RB), in mitigating colitis in dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-treated mice.


Male C57BL/6 mice were fed for 2 weeks on a 10% RB, 10% CB or control diet, all based on the AIN-93M diet. On day 8, mice (n=9) from half of each group received drinking water or 2.5% DSS in water to induce colitis. The disease activity index (DAI), including weight loss, fecal bleeding and solid stool formation, was scored daily. On day 15 mice were killed and gut barrier function, pro-inflammatory cytokines and histopathology of middle colon were assessed.


Both RB and CB decreased the DAI, attenuating weight loss, reducing fecal bleeding and improving solid stool formation, compared to that of DSS-control mice. RB and CB also mitigated the shrinkage of colon length induced by DSS. Moreover, histological evaluation of colon from both RB and CB showed less erosion and active inflammation, with signs of regeneration.

Plasma lipopolysaccharide (LPS), indicative of failed colonic barrier function, was lower in both RB and CB compared to DSS mice not receiving broccoli. Decreased urinary levels of orally ingested sucralose suggested a less compromised gut barrier in mice receiving RB, but not in those receiving CB. These data suggest RB and CB improved gut barrier function in DSS-treated mice, but that RB was more effective than CB.

Expression of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and CCR2 typically caused by DSS was diminished only in RB mice. Expression of VCAM-1, however, was decreased in both RB and CB mice. CCR2 and VCAM-1 are involved in the IL-6 trans-signaling pathway and transition from acute to chronic inflammation. These data are consistent with dietary broccoli decreasing the IL-6 trans-signaling pathway and halting transition to chronic inflammation.


Our data suggest that CB, while not as effective as RB, was able to mitigate the clinical symptoms of colonic colitis in a DSS mouse model.

Funding Source:

USDA/NIFA 2016-67017-24430

CoAuthors: Yuanfeng Wu – Zhejiang University of Science and Technology; Matthew Wallig – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Elizabeth Jeffery – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Yanling Wang

Graduate Student
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Urbana, Illinois