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Mar Drugs. 2012 Nov 13;10(11):2560-70. doi: 10.3390/md10112560.

Effect of fucoidan extracted from mozuku on experimental cartilaginous tissue injury.

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Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine, Tottori University, 4-101 Koyama Minami, Tottori 680-8553, Japan.


We investigated the effect of fucoidan, a sulfated polysaccharide, on acceleration of healing of experimental cartilage injury in a rabbit model. An injured cartilage model was surgically created by introduction of three holes, one in the articular cartilage of the medial trochlea and two in the trochlear sulcus of the distal femur. Rabbits in three experimental groups (F groups) were orally administered fucoidan of seven different molecular weights (8, 50, 146, 239, 330, 400, or 1000 kD) for 3 weeks by screening. Control (C group) rabbits were provided water ad libitum. After the experimental period, macroscopic examination showed that the degree of filling in the fucoidan group was higher than that in the C group. Histologically, the holes were filled by collagen fiber and fibroblasts in the C group, and by chondroblasts and fibroblasts in the F groups. Image analysis of Alcian blue- and safranin O-stained F-group specimens showed increased production of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) and proteoglycans (PGs), respectively. Some injured holes were well repaired both macroscopically and microscopically and were filled with cartilage tissues; cartilage matrices such as PGs and GAGs were produced in groups F 50, F 146, and F 239. Thus, fucoidan administration enhanced morphologically healing of cartilage injury.

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