We demonstrated that mekabu fucoidan obtained from Undaria pinnatifida (Up) sporophylls augments the type 1 T-helper (Th1) cell response in normal BALB/c mice. In this study, we examined the effects of the fucoidan of mekabu on the type 2 T-helper (Th2) response in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) after ovalbumin (OVA) aerosol challenge.
Mekabu fucoidan (50 mg/kg) was injected intraperitoneally into BALB/c mice for 4 days, and then the mice were sensitized with 50 microg/mouse of OVA plus alum (1 mg/mouse) 1 and 8 days later. The mice were challenged with OVA delivered using a nebulizer 7, 8 and 9 days after the second challenge with OVA plus alum. After 24 h, we assessed T cell responses in BALF by measuring the amount of Th2 cytokines (IL-4, IL-5, IL-13) and gamma-interferon (IFN-gamma) produced by Th1 cells.
The production of Th2 cytokines was suppressed (p < 0.05), and the amount of IFN-gamma was not increased in the mice treated with mekabu fucoidan. Anti-OVA immunoglobulin E (IgE) and IgE levels in serum determined after challenge with aerosolized OVA at the end of the experiment were lower (p < 0.05) in the treated than in the control mice.
The pulmonary inflammation was relieved by mekabu fucoidan, which also downregulated Th2-dominated responses. These results indicate that mekabu fucoidan modulates Th2 responses and might be useful for treating allergic inflammation.
"Fucoidans are heterogeneous sulfated polysaccharides abundant in cell walls of brown algae and some invertebrates. For the last decades, an increasing number of reports have been describing a widest range of their biological activities: antiviral  , antibacterial , anticoagulant   , immunostimulatory  , antiflammatory  , and anticancer    . Such outstanding range of fucoidan bioactivity stimulates many investigators to seek for a medical use of these sulfated polysaccharides and to study the relationships between their structure and functionality. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Enzymes capable of modifying the sulfated polymeric molecule of fucoidan are mainly produced by different groups of marine organisms: invertebrates, bacteria, and also some fungi. We have discovered and identified a new strain of filamentous fungus Fusarium proliferatum LE1 (deposition number in Russian Collection of Agricultural Microorganisms is RCAM02409), which is a potential producer of fucoidan-degrading enzymes. The strain LE1 (RCAM02409) was identified on the basis of morphological characteristics and analysis of ITS sequences of ribosomal DNA. During submerged cultivation of F. proliferatum LE1 in the nutrient medium containing natural fucoidan sources (the mixture of brown algae Laminaria digitata and Fucus vesiculosus), enzymic activities of α-L-fucosidase and arylsulfatase were inducible. These enzymes hydrolyzed model substrates, para-nitrophenyl α-L-fucopyranoside and para-nitrophenyl sulfate, respectively. However, the α-L-fucosidase is appeared to be a secreted enzyme while the arylsulfatase was an intracellular one. No detectable fucoidanase activity was found during F. proliferatum LE1 growth in submerged culture or in a static one. Comparative screening for fucoidanase/arylsulfatase/α-L-fucosidase activities among several related Fusarium strains showed a uniqueness of F. proliferatum LE1 to produce arylsulfatase and α-L-fucosidase enzymes. Apart them, the strain was shown to produce other glycoside hydrolyses.
"Additionally the chronic inflammation marker interleukin 6 was lowered. This data has common features with an animal study carried out by Shimizu  and may point to the potential for radiation protection potential by orally delivered fucoidan. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Published research on fucoidans increased three fold between 2000 and 2010. These algal derived marine carbohydrate polymers present numerous valuable bioactivities. This review discusses the role for fucoidan in the control of acute and chronic inflammation via selectin blockade, enzyme inhibition and inhibiting the complement cascade. The recent data on toxicology and uptake of fucoidan is detailed together with a discussion on the comparative activities of fractions of fucoidan from different sources. Recent in vivo, in vitro and clinical research related to diverse clinical needs is discussed. Targets include osteoarthritis, kidney and liver disease, neglected infectious diseases, hemopoietic stem cell modulation, protection from radiation damage and treatments for snake envenomation. In recent years, the production of well characterized reproducible fucoidan fractions on a commercial scale has become possible making therapies from fucoidan a realizable goal.
"In a mouse model, Cladosiphonderived fucoidan downregulated IL-6 (a Th2 cytokine) and ameliorated colitis.23 Other studies in mice have observed immunomodulatory effects chiefly by increasing the activity of natural killer (NK) cells and via a modulation of the Th1:Th2 ratio.24,25 "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Isolated fucoidans from brown marine algae have been shown to have a range of immune-modulating effects. This exploratory study aimed to determine whether a seaweed nutrient complex containing a blend of extracts from three different species of brown algae plus nutrients is safe to administer and has biological potential as an immune modulator. The study was undertaken as an open-label combined Phase I and II study.
Participants (n = 10) were randomized to receive the study medication at either a 100 mg (n = 5) or 1000 mg (n = 5) dose over 4 weeks. The primary outcome measurement was in vivo changes in lymphocyte subsets. The secondary outcome measures were ex vivo changes in T-lymphocyte (CD4 and CD8) activation, phagocytosis of granulocytes and monocytes, T helper 1/T helper 2 cytokines, and serum oxygen radical absorbance capacity.
The preparation was found to be safe over the 4 weeks at both doses tested. There were no clinically relevant changes to blood measurements of hemopoietic, hepatic, or renal function. Immunomodulatory measurements showed no dose response between the two doses. The combined results from the two doses demonstrated a significant increase in cytotoxic T cell numbers and phagocytic capacity in monocytes, and a significant decrease in levels of the inflammatory cytokine interleukin 6. A separate analysis of the 100 mg dose (n = 5) alone showed a significant linear component over time (P < 0.05) for phagocytosis by both granulocytes and monocytes.
The seaweed nutrient complex was safe to use when taken orally over 4 weeks. The preparation was demonstrated to have potential as an immune modulator, and this bioactivity deserves further exploration.
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