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Eur J Pharmacol. 2008 Feb 12;580(3):380-4. Epub 2007 Nov 17.

Fucoidan partly prevents CCl4-induced liver fibrosis.

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Laboratory of Bio-Functional Molecular Chemistry, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Osaka University, Osaka 565-0871, Japan.


Fucoidan, a sulfated polysaccharide extracted from brown algae, has a wide range of biological activities, including anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-tumor activities. In the present study, we investigated the effects of fucoidan on CCl4-induced liver fibrosis. Administration of fucoidan reduced CCl4-induced acute and chronic liver failure. Hepatic fibrosis induced by CCl4 was also attenuated by injection of fucoidan. Damage to hepatocytes and activation of hepatic stellate cells are key events in liver fibrosis, and, interestingly, treatment of hepatocytes with fucoidan prevented CCl4-induced cell death and inhibited the proliferation hepatic stellate cells. These results indicate that fucoidan might be a promising anti-fibrotic agent possessing dual functions, namely, protection of hepatocytes and inhibition of hepatic stellate cell proliferation.

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