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Effect of seaweed preparations on murine immunocytes

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During a screening programme for new medical agents, many aqueous extracts from 59 species of seaweed were found to possess bioactivity against murine immunocytes. Thirty-eight extracts (8 green, 12 brown, 18 red algae) showed suppressive effects on the mitogenic response. Furthermore, 16 extracts (2 green, 6 brown, 8 red algae) suppressed the production of Interleukin 1 (1L-1) from murine macrophage. Using the murine mixed lymphocyte reaction assay, suppressive effects were observed in 4 red algae, but none in green or brown algae. Nine seaweed extracts suppressed the production of secondary antibody (IgG, IgM). Extracts of 3 red algae suppressed strongly the proliferation of bone marrow cells, but 2 other red algae caused stimulation above 200%. This is apparently the first report showing immunosuppressive activity from marine algae.

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Mizukoshi, S., Matsuoka, H., Nakamura, K. et al. Effect of seaweed preparations on murine immunocytes. J Appl Phycol 5, 629–637 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02184642

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Key words

  • marine algae
  • immunosuppressive activity
  • murine immunocyte
  • mitogenic response
  • Interleukin 1
  • mixed lymphocyte reaction