2003 Volume 26 Issue 12 Pages 1754-1760
The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) is a ligand-activated nuclear transcription factor that mediates responses to environmental contaminants such as dioxins, which have many adverse health effects. We performed a preliminary screening of the inhibitory effects of vegetable constituents on 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD)-induced activation of AhR using the AhR-based bioassay for dioxins, the Ah-Immunoassay. Ninety vegetable constituents including flavonoids, tannins, saponins, terpenes, etc., were assayed in vitro. Among them, flavones, flavonols, anthraquinones, piperine, coumestrol, brevifolincarboxylic acid, and resveratrol showed marked inhibitory effects on AhR-based bioassay activation by TCDD, and their effects were dose dependent. Curcumin, carnosol, and capsaicin also inhibited the activation of AhR in this assay, although to a lesser degree. These results suggest that several vegetable constituents might play a role in protection against dioxin toxicity.