Effect of allyl sulfides from garlic essential oil on intracellular Ca 2+ levels in renal tubular cells

Chung Ren Jan, Horng Ren Lo, Chung Yi Chen, Soong Yu Kuo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

17 Scopus citations


Diallyl sulfide (1), diallyl disulfide (2), and diallyl trisulfide (3), which are major organosulfur compounds of garlic (Allium sativum), are recognized as a group of potential chemopreventive compounds. In this study, the early signaling effects of 3 were examined on Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells loaded with the Ca2+-sensitive dye fura-2. It was found that 3 caused an immediate and sustained increase of [Ca2+]i in a concentration-dependent manner (EC50 = 40 μM). Compound 3 also induced a [Ca2+]i elevation when extracellular Ca 2+ was removed, but the magnitude was reduced by 45%. In Ca 2+-free medium, the 3-induced [Ca2+]i level was abolished by depleting stored Ca2+ with 1 μM thapsigargin (an endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ pump inhibitor). Elevation of [Ca 2+]i caused by 3 in the Ca2+-containing medium was not affected by modulation of protein kinase C activity. The 3-induced Ca2+ influx was inhibited by nifedipine and nicardipine (1 μM). U73122, an inhibitor of phospholipase C, abolished ATP (but not the 3-induced [Ca2+]i level). These findings suggest that 3 induced a significant [Ca2+]i elevation in MDCK renal tubular cells by stimulating both extracellular Ca2+ influx and thapsigargin-sensitive intracellular Ca2+ release via as yet unidentified mechanisms. Furthermore, the order of the allyl sulfide-induced [Ca2+]i elevation and cell viability was 1 < 2 < 3. The differential effect of allyl sulfides on Ca2+ signaling and cell death appears to correlate with the number of sulfur atoms in the structure of these allyl sulfides.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2101-2107
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Natural Products
Issue number12
StatePublished - 28 12 2012
Externally publishedYes


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