Other biological activities of fucoidan

The effect of fucoidan from A. nodosum on fibroblast growth factor (FGF)-2-induced proliferation and differentiation of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (Matou et al., 2002) was reported. Their results showed that fucoidan can enhance vascular tube formation induced by FGF-2 with a modulation of the expression of surface proteins involved in angiogenesis. In another study, however, smooth muscle cell proliferation was inhibited by fucans, suggesting an antiproliferative effect (Logeart et al., 1997). Together with these results, Matou et al. (2002) suggested a potential preventive effect of fucoidan on restenosis.

Hemmingson et al. (2006) demonstrated the potential antiviral activity of galactofucan sulfates extracted from U. pinnatifida against herpes viruses HSV-1, HSV-2, and HCMV. In recent years, few other antivirus activities of sulfated polysaccharides-containing fucose have been demonstrated (Hayashi et al., 2008; Mandal et al., 2007).

Despite these biological activities, detailed study on the toxicology of brown algal fucoidan has been performed (Kim et al., 2010b). They have tested the toxicity of a 4-week oral trial of fucoidan extracted from the U. pinnatifida in Sprague-Dawley rats.

The study showed that fucoidan from U. pinnatifida is not toxic when orally administered at 150,450, and 1350 mg/kg bw/day for 4 weeks and does not have anticoagulant activity, reducing concern about adverse effects related to excess bleeding.

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