2Departamento de Biofisica e Farmacologia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Natal, RN, Brazil
* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received October 30, 2007; Revision received December 3, 2007
Sulfated polysaccharides (fucans and fucoidans) from brown algae show several biological activities, including anticoagulant and anti-inflammatory activities. We have extracted a sulfated heterofucan from the brown seaweed Lobophora variegata by proteolytic digestion, followed by acetone fractionation, molecular sieving, and ion-exchange chromatography. Chemical analyses and 13C-NMR and IR spectroscopy showed that this fucoidan is composed of fucose, galactose, and sulfate at molar ratios of 1 : 3 : 2. We compared the anticoagulant activity of L. variegata fucoidan with those of a commercial sulfated polysaccharide (also named fucoidan) from Fucus vesiculosus and heparin. The experimental inflammation models utilized in this work revealed that fucoidan from L. variegata inhibits leukocyte migration to the inflammation site. Ear swelling caused by croton oil was also inhibited when sulfated polysaccharides from F. vesiculosus and L. variegata were used. The precise mechanism of different action between homo- and heterofucans is not clear; nevertheless, the polysaccharides studied here may have therapeutic potential in inflammatory disorders.
KEY WORDS: brown algae, Lobophora variegata, fucan, fucoidan, anti-clotting activity, anti-inflammatory activity