Skip to main content

Pharmacological activities of a new glycosaminoglycan, acharan sulfate isolated from the giant african snailachatina fulica


Acharan sulfate (AS) is a glycosaminoglycan (GAG) prepared from the giant African snail,Achatina fulica. In this study, some biological activities of AS were evaluated on the basis of structural similarities to heparin/heparan sulfate and the biological functions of GAGs. We demonstrated that it exhibited strong immunostimulating activities as measured by carbon clearance test in mice andin vivo phagocytosis. It also exhibited a significant hypoglycemic activity in epinephrine (EP)-induced hyperglycemia as well as antifatigue effects by weight-loaded forced swimming test. And it showed hypolipidemic activities in cholesterol-rich mixture induced hyperlipidemia in rats. The above results indicate that AS has diverse biological activities and suggest therapeutically important target molecules.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. Jeong, J. A., Toida, T., Linhardt, R., and Kim, Y. S., Localization and characterization of acharan sulfate in the body of the giant African snai.Achatina fulica.Comp. Biochem. Physiol., 130, 513–519 (2001).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Johnson, J. A., and Fusaro, R. M., The quantitative enzymic determination of animal liver glycogen.Anal. Biochem., 15, 140–149 (1966).

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Kreisman, S. H., Ah Mew N, Arsenault, M., Nessim S. J., Halter J. B., Vranic, M., and Marliss E. B., Epinephrine infusion during moderate intensity exercise increases glucose production and uptake.Am. J. Physiol. Endocrinol. Metab., 278, E949–957 (2000).

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Kimura, Y., Kubo, M., Tani, T., Arichi, S., Ohminami, H., and Okuda, H., Studies on Scutellariae radix. III. Effects on lipid metabolism in serum, liver and fat cells of rats.Chem. Pharm. Bull., 29, 2308–2312 (1981).

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Kim, Y. S., Jo, Y. Y., Chang, I. M., Toida, T., Park Y. M., and Linhardt, R. J., A new glycosaminoglycan from the giant African snai.Achatina fulica.J. Biol. Chem., 271, 11750–11755 (1996).

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Linhardt, R. J., and Toida, T., Heparin oligosaccharides: New analogues, development and applications. In Carbohydrates as drugs, In Witczak, Z. J., and Nieforth. Marcel Dekker, K. A. (Eds.). New York, pp. 277–341, (1997).

  7. Marcil, A., Harcus D, Thomas, D.Y., and Whiteway, M.,Candida albicans killing by RAW 264.7 mouse macrophage cells: effects of Candida genotype, infection ratios, and gamma interferon treatment.Infect. Immun., 70, 6319–6329 (2002).

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Mariam, A., Asmawi, M. Z., and Sadikun, Hypoglycemic activity of the aqueous extract o.Orthosiphon stamineus.Fitoterapia, 57, 465–468 (1996).

    Google Scholar 

  9. Moriura, T., Matsuda, H., and Kubo, M., Pharmacological study o.Agkistrodon blomhoffii blomhoffii BOIE. V. Anti-fatigue effect of the 50% ethanol extract in acute weight-loaded forced swimming-treated rats.Biol Pharm. Bull., 19, 62–66 (1996).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Wagner, H., Proksch, A., Riess-Maurer, I., Vollmar, A., Odenthal, S., Stuppner, H., Jurcic, K., Le Turdu, M., and Heur, Y. H., Immunostimulant action of polysaccharides (heteroglycans) from higher plants. Preliminary communication.Arzneimittel-forschung, 34, 659–661 (1984).

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Jin Young Shim or Yeon Sil Lee or Sang Hoon Jung or Hyung Seok Choi or Kuk Hyun Shin or Yeong Shik Kim.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Shim, J.Y., Lee, Y.S., Jung, S.H. et al. Pharmacological activities of a new glycosaminoglycan, acharan sulfate isolated from the giant african snailachatina fulica . Arch Pharm Res 25, 889–894 (2002).

Download citation

Key words

  • Achatina fulica
  • Acharan sulfate
  • Immunomoulator
  • Hypoglycemic
  • Antifatigue
  • Hypolipidemic