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Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. 2012 Apr;110(4):335-41. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-7843.2011.00811.x. Epub 2011 Nov 10.

Antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory activities of sulphated polysaccharides from the red seaweed Gracilaria cornea.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Federal University of Ceará, Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil.


Seaweeds have attracted special interest as good sources of sulphated polysaccharides (SP) for use in pharmaceutical industries and biotechnology. In this study, we evaluated the effects of SP from the red seaweed Gracilaria cornea (Gc-TSP) in nociceptive and inflammatory models. In mice, Gc-TSP (3, 9 or 27 mg/kg) significantly reduced nociceptive responses, as measured by the number of writhes, at all tested doses. In a formalin test, Gc-TSP significantly reduced licking time in both phases of the test at a dose of 27 mg/kg. In a hot-plate test, the antinociceptive effect was observed only in animals treated with 27 mg/kg of Gc-TSP, suggesting that the analgesic effect occurs through a central action mechanism at the highest dose. Gc-TSP (3, 9 or 27 mg/kg) caused only a slight reduction in neutrophil migration in the rat peritoneal cavity. However, lower doses of Gc-TSP (3 and 9 mg/kg) significantly inhibited paw oedema induced by carrageenan, especially at 3 hr after treatment. Reduction in oedema was confirmed by myeloperoxidase activity in the affected paw tissue. In addition, treatment (s.c.) of animals with different doses of Gc-TSP inhibited paw oedema induced by dextran within the first hour in all doses tested. After 14 consecutive days of intraperitoneal administration of Gc-TSP (9 mg/kg), we measured the wet weight of the liver, kidney, heart, spleen and thymus and performed biochemical, haematological and histopathological evaluations. No systemic damage was found. These results indicate that Gc-TSP possesses analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects and is a potentially important tool worthy of further study.

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