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Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2005 Oct;69(10):1824-30.

Inhibitory effect of porphyran, prepared from dried "Nori", on contact hypersensitivity in mice.

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National Research Institute of Fisheries Science, Fisheries Research Agency, Kanazawaku, Yokohama, Japan.


Porphyran is a major component of the red algae, Porphyra tenera and P. yezoensis, which are processed into a sheet type of dried food, "Nori". Porphyran has been reported to activate murine macrophages by in vitro and i.p. injection studies. The contact hypersensitivity (CHS) reaction in mice is commonly used as a model to evaluate the anti-allergic activity of food and food components. We therefore studied the effect of porphyran on the CHS reaction in Balb/c mice to evaluate anti-allergic activity of porphyran. We found that an oral administration of porphyran (2% in drinking water) suppressed the CHS reaction (ear edema) induced by 2,4,6-trinitrochlorobenzene. We also found that porphyran suppressed the serum level of IgE and the production of interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) in the challenged ear lobe. We conclude from these results that the CHS reaction was suppressed by oral porphyran due to the decreased serum level of IgE and the production of IFN-gamma in the challenged ear lobe.

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