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Int Immunopharmacol. 2011 Sep;11(9):1241-50. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2011.04.003. Epub 2011 Apr 17.

Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect of polysaccharides from Lobophora variegata on zymosan-induced arthritis in rats.

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Department of Biochemistry, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN), Natal, RN, Brazil.


This study analyzes the action of sulfated polysaccharides, fucans, from algae Lobophora variegata on zymosan-induced arthritis in rats. Groups of fucans, obtained after acetone fractionation (0.3-2.0 volumes), were denominated F0.3, F0.5, F0.8, F1, F1.5, and F2. The results that F1 contained a high yield in relation to other fractionated fucans. Chemical and structure analysis of F1 was performed by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and infrared (IR) spectroscopies. The in vitro antioxidant activities of the fraction F1 were also observed. Thus, 2 mg/mL of F1 inhibited the phosphomolybdate in the total antioxidant activity assay. The EC(50) values were 0.3 mg/mL and 0.12 mg/mL for superoxide and hydroxyl radicals, respectively. Fucan F1 (25, 50, and 75 mg/kg by body weight), diclofenac sodium (10 mg/kg), and L-NAME (25 mg/kg) were administered intraperitoneally (i.p.) in rats, according to body weight of different groups of animals (n=6). After 6 h, analyses of cell influx and nitrite levels were conducted. Then after 96 h, analysis of edema and concentration of serum TNF-α was carried out along with histopathological analysis. F1 at 25, 50, and 75 mg/kg i.p. by body weight reduced cell influx in 52.1-96.7% and nitric oxide level in 27.2-39% compared with the control group. The reduction of edema and serum TNF-α was observed at 50 mg/kg i.p. (p<0.001). These results suggest that this heterofucan from the brown algae L. variegata has potential anti-inflammatory activity in acute zymosan-induced arthritis in rats and that antioxidant activity promotes modulation in the cellular redox state.

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