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Vol. 137, No. 4, 2005
Issue release date: August 2005

Suppression of Th2 Immune Responses by Mekabu Fucoidan from Undaria pinnatifida Sporophylls

Maruyama H. · Tamauchi H. · Hashimoto M. · Nakano T.
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Abstract

Background: We demonstrated that mekabu fucoidan obtained from Undaria pinnatifida (Up) sporophylls augments the type 1 T-helper (Th1) cell response in normal BALB/c mice. In this study, we examined the effects of the fucoidan of mekabu on the type 2 T-helper (Th2) response in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) after ovalbumin (OVA) aerosol challenge. Methods: Mekabu fucoidan (50 mg/kg) was injected intraperitoneally into BALB/c mice for 4 days, and then the mice were sensitized with 50 µg/mouse of OVA plus alum (1 mg/mouse) 1 and 8 days later. The mice were challenged with OVA delivered using a nebulizer 7, 8 and 9 days after the second challenge with OVA plus alum. After 24 h, we assessed T cell responses in BALF by measuring the amount of Th2 cytokines (IL-4, IL-5, IL-13) and γ-interferon (IFN-γ) produced by Th1 cells. Results: The production of Th2 cytokines was suppressed (p < 0.05), and the amount of IFN-γ was not increased in the mice treated with mekabu fucoidan. Anti-OVA immunoglobulin E (IgE) and IgE levels in serum determined after challenge with aerosolized OVA at the end of the experiment were lower (p < 0.05) in the treated than in the control mice. Conclusions: The pulmonary inflammation was relieved by mekabu fucoidan, which also downregulated Th2-dominated responses. These results indicate that mekabu fucoidan modulates Th2 responses and might be useful for treating allergic inflammation.



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Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in goverment regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
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