Extraction and characterization of phlorotannin-enriched fractions from the Atlantic seaweed Bifurcaria bifurcata and evaluation of their cytotoxic activity in murine cell line

  • Carolina Gonçalves-Fernández
  • Jorge SineiroEmail author
  • Ramón Moreira
  • Oreste Gualillo


Phlorotannins, a group of polymeric polyphenols composed of phloroglucinol monomers, were obtained from the brown alga Bifurcaria bifurcata by solvent extraction (acetone/water 70:30 v/v) and further semipreparative chromatography. Characterization of several polyphenolic fractions with different polymerization degrees was carried by HPLC-MS. Cytotoxic activity of phlorotannin fractions were tested in ATDC5 murine cell line and analyzed by MTT assay. A fraction eluted between 14 and 16 min showed the highest cytotoxicity against ATDC5 murine cells in a dose-responsive manner. Hydroxytetrafuhalol (tetrafuhalol B) was the main component of this fraction. Fractions with the highest molecular size, corresponding with oligomeric phlorotannins with a polymerization degree > 6, did not show the same cytotoxicity, likely due to their size. Cytotoxicity for the fraction containing the higher polarity and lower molecular size was not observed.


Bifurcaria bifurcata Phaeophyta Phlorotannins Cytotoxity Murine ATDC5 cells 



The mass spectrometry analysis was performed in the Scientific-Technological Support Center of the Universidade de Santiago de Compostela (CACTUS).


This study is financially supported by the Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad of Spain and FEDER (CTQ 2013-43616/P).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringUniversidade de Santiago de CompostelaSantiago de CompostelaSpain
  2. 2.NEIRID LAB, Institute of Medical Research (IDIS)Santiago University Clinical Hospital ResearchSantiago de CompostelaSpain

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