Evaluation of bioactivity of fucoidan from laminaria with in vitro human cell cultures (THP-1)

Magdalena M. Stefaniak–Vidarsson, María Gudjónsdóttir, Gudrun Marteinsdottir, Olafur E. Sigurjonsson, Kristberg Kristbergsson

Abstract


Background: Seaweeds represent one of the few remaining food sources available globally which are not being fully utilized or even over utilized. Kelps (Laminaria spp.) are one of the numerous species of brown seaweeds, a popular marine vegetable, which has been used as a source of iodine and minerals for centuries. Kelps contain anionic polysaccharides called fucoidans heteroglycans with L – fucose units. Their monosaccharide composition, physicochemical and bioactive properties vary between seaweed species. The objective of this work was to evaluate the bioactive properties of laminaria fucoidan (L. digitata and L. hyperborea) toward THP–1 macrophages, a human macrophage like cell line, and investigate its potential antioxidant and immunomodulatory characteristics.

Methods: THP-1 macrophages were incubated with five fucoidan concentrations. The Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) assay was determined for cell lysates and for the fucoidan extract, in addition to Total Polyphenol Content (TPC). Cytotoxicity of fucoidan was assessed by light microscopy, followed by XTT proliferation assay. Enzyme–linked immunosorbant assays (ELISA) were performed to determine concentrations of the secreted tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α), interleukin 6 (IL–6), and interleukin 10 (IL–10).

 Results: Fucoidan did not affect macrophage ability to scavenge oxygen radicals (ORAC) confirming its antioxidant properties toward activated macrophages. The laminaria fucoidan extract at 100 µg/ml concentration lowered macrophage viability. Lower concentrations of laminaria fucoidan did not have impact on cell viability. Very low concentration of fucoidan at 0.1 µg/ml triggered secretion of TNF-α. However, IL–6 and interleukin IL–10 were expressed when concentration of applied fucoidan was 10 µg/ml indicating bioactivity of laminaria fucoidan through immunomodulatory actions.

Conclusions: The study demonstrated how laminaria fucoidan may have bioactive properties towards THP–1 macrophages. Changes in cytokine secretion between pro–inflammatory (TNF–α, and IL–6) and anti–inflammatory (IL–10) cytokines confirmed bioactivity of the laminaria fucoidan extracts.

Keywords: Seaweeds, Kelps, Laminaria, fucoidan, bioactivity, macrophages


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