Tokunaga, S., Woodin, B.R., Stegeman, J.J. (2016) Plant lignan secoisolariciresinol suppresses pericardial edema caused by dioxin-like compounds in developing zebrafish: Implications for suppression of morphological abnormalities. Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association. 96:160-6.
Dioxins and dioxin-like compounds (DLCs) enter the body mainly through diet and cause various toxicological effects through activation of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), a ligand activated transcription factor. Some plant extracts and phytochemicals are reported to suppress this transformation. However, most of these reports have been from in vitro experiments and few reports have been from in vivo experiments. In addition, there has been no report of foodstuffs that effectively prevent AhR-associated morphological abnormalities such as deformities caused by dioxins and DLCs in vivo. In this study, we show that secoisolariciresinol (SECO), a natural lignan-type polyphenolic phytochemical found mainly in flaxseed, has a rescuing effect, actually suppressing morphological abnormalities (pericardial edema) in zebrafish embryos exposed to 3,3',4,4',5-pentachlorobiphenyl (PCB126), a dioxinlike PCB congener. Importantly, the rescuing effect of SECO was still evident when it was applied 16 h after the beginning of exposure to PCB126. This study suggests that SECO may be useful as a natural suppressive agent for morphological abnormalities caused by dioxins and DLCs.