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Arch Biochem Biophys. 2006 Jan 1;445(1):56-64. Epub 2005 Nov 28.

Fucoidan a sulfated polysaccharide from brown algae is a potent modulator of connective tissue proteolysis.

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Université Paris Descartes, Faculté de Chirurgie Dentaire, EA2496 Réparations et Remodelages Oro-faciaux, Montrouge, France.


Fucoidans are sulfated fucosylated polymers from brown algae cell wall that exhibit some heparin/heparan sulfate properties. We previously demonstrated that these polysaccharides were able in vitro to stimulate dermal fibroblast proliferation and extracellular matrix deposition. Here, we investigated the action of a 16kDa fucoidan fraction on parameters involved in connective tissue breakdown. This fucoidan is able to inhibit gelatinase A secretion and stromelysin 1 induction by interleukin-1beta on dermal fibroblasts in culture. Furthermore, we observed that fucoidan increases the rate of association of MMPs with their specific inhibitors namely TIMPs. Using tissue sections of human skin in ex vivo experiments, we evidenced that this polysaccharide was able to minimize human leukocyte elastase activity resulting in the protection of human skin elastic fiber network against the enzymatic proteolysis due to this serine proteinase. These results suggested that fucoidan could be used for treating some inflammatory pathologies in which uncontrolled extracellular matrix degradation takes place.

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