Marine macroalgae as crude materials with antiallergic activities

Although marine algae have been believed to be safe and efficient agents for antiallergic treatment, they have not been as extensively studied as terrestrial plants. Recently, a number of marine macroalgae have been studied for their capability against allergic reactions (Kimiya et al., 2008; Sugiura et al., 2006b). Among them, Petalonia binghamiae, Eisenia arborea, and Sargassum thunbergii were found to be effective inhibitors of hista-mine and p-hexosaminidase release from mast cells. Moreover, Sargassum hemiphyllum and Carpopeltis affinis, which are used in Korean folk medicine for the therapeutic treatment of various allergic diseases, have been determined to suppress atopic allergic reaction by attenuating the release of histamine, p-hexosaminidase, IL-8, and TNF-a from the activated mast cells (Na et al., 2005a,b). Notably, brown alga Ecklonia cava has been identified as a suppressor of FceRI, a high-affinity receptor for IgE on the cell surface of mast cell and basophils (Shim et al., 2009b). The methanol extract of E. cava exhibited inhibitory effect on degranulation of KU812F cells due to reducing the cell surface expression of FceRI and blocking the binding of IgE with its receptor. In another sense, the administration of ethanol extract of E. cava and Laurencia undulate caused a significant suppression of all asthmatic reactions induced by ovalbumin (OVA) in a mouse asthma model (Jung et al., 2009; Kim et al., 2008). The rats were fed with E. arborea, and this resulted in the decrease of IgE and histamine level in the serum, the reduction of Th2 cytokines release, and enhancement of Th1 cytokine expression from the spleen and mesenteric lymph nodes (Sugiura et al., 2008a). The intraperitoneal administration of Sargassum tenerrimum, Sargassum cervicorne, and Sargassum graminifolium in turn induced the inhibition of both passive cutaneous anaphylaxis (PCA) and active cutaneous anaphylaxis (ACA) in mice triggered by OVA and shrimp allergen (Samee et al., 2009). Herein, the extract of S. tenerrimum exhibited the most active suppression of PCA and ACA, which is comparable to antiallergic drug disodiumcromoglycate. According to these results, algae extracts could be useful crude materials for the treatment of allergic diseases.

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