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

Maruyama H.a · Tamauchi H.b · Hashimoto M.c · Nakano T.c
aDepartment of Pathology, School of Allied Health Sciences, and bDepartment of Immunology and Microbiology, School of Medicine, Kitasato University, Sagamihara, and cRiken Vitamin Co. Ltd., Tokyo, Japan Int Arch Allergy Immunol 2005;137:289–294 (DOI:10.1159/000086422)

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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