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J Agric Food Chem. 2014 Mar 26. [Epub ahead of print]

Immunomodulatory Effects of Alginate Oligosaccharides on Murine Macrophage RAW264.7 Cells and Their Structure-Activity Relationships.

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  • 1College of Life Science, Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Marine Bioresources and Ecology, Shenzhen University , Shenzhen 518060, China.


This study evaluated the immunomodulatory activities, including regulation of nitric oxide (NO), reactive oxygen species (ROS), and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α production in RAW264.7 murine macrophages, of alginate oligosaccharides (AOS) and investigated their structure-activity relationships. Our results revealed that unsaturated guluronate oligosaccharide prepared by enzymatic degradation (GOS-ED) induced NO production and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression, dose and time dependently, and stimulated ROS and TNF-α production; however, other AOS prepared by different ways or polymers showed very low and even no such effects. Moreover, GOS-ED induced macrophage activation to release the above-mentioned mediators partly involved in nuclear factor (NF)-κB and mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase signaling pathways. We also show that the structural characteristics of AOS, especially the unsaturated terminal structure, molecular size, and M/G ratio, play important roles in determining the macrophage-activating effects. GOS-ED could be applicable for agriculture, drug, and food industry as a potent immune-modulatory agent.

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