Marine Biotechnology

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 60–74 | Cite as

Phytochemical Analysis and Evaluation of the Antioxidant, Anti-Inflammatory, and Antinociceptive Potential of Phlorotannin-Rich Fractions from Three Mediterranean Brown Seaweeds

  • Amal AbdelhamidEmail author
  • Meriem Jouini
  • Haifa Bel Haj Amor
  • Zeineb Mzoughi
  • Mehdi Dridi
  • Rafik Ben Said
  • Abderrahman Bouraoui
Original Article


Phlorotannins, phenolic compounds produced exclusively by seaweeds, have been reported to possess various pharmacological properties. However, there have been few works on these compounds from Mediterranean seaweeds. In this study, we investigated the phytochemical analysis and pharmacological potential of phlorotannin-rich fractions from three brown seaweeds collected along the Tunisia coast: Cystoseira sedoides (PHT-SED), Cladostephus spongeosis (PHT-CLAD), and Padina pavonica (PHT-PAD). Phytochemical determinations showed considerable differences in total phenolic content (TPC) and phlorotannin content (PHT). The highest TPC level (26.45 mg PGE/g dry material (Dm)) and PHT level (873.14 μg PGE/g Dm) were observed in C. sedoides. The antioxidant properties of these three fractions assessed by three different methods indicated that C. sedoides displayed the highest total antioxidant activity among the three species (71.30 mg GAE/g Dm), as well as the free radical scavenging activity with the lowest IC50 value in both DPPH (27.7 μg/mL) and ABTS (19.1 μg/mL) assays. Furthermore, the pharmacological screening of the anti-inflammatory potential of these fractions using in vivo models, in comparison to reference drugs, established a remarkable activity of PHT-SED at the dose of 100 mg/kg; the inhibition percentages of ear edema in mice model and paw edema in rats model were of 82.55 and 81.08%, respectively. The content of malondialdehyde (MDA) in liver tissues has been quantified, and PHT-SED was found to remarkably increase the lipid peroxidation in rat liver tissues. In addition, in two pain mice models, PHT-SED displayed a profound antinociceptive activity at 100 mg/kg and has proved a better analgesic activity when used in combination with the opioid drug, tramadol.


Phlorotannins Brown seaweed Phytochemical Radical scavenging activity Anti-inflammatory activity Antinociceptive activity 



solid liquid extraction




radical scavenging activity


phloroglucinol equivalent


gallic acid equivalent


dry material




2,2′-azinobis-3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulphonic acid


half maximal inhibitory concentration




Funding Information

This study was financially supported by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research of Tunisia (Grant no. LR12ES09).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Chemical, Galenic and Pharmacological Development of Drugs, Faculty of Pharmacy of MonastirUniversity of MonastirMonastirTunisia
  2. 2.Laboratory of Heterocyclic Chemistry, Natural Products and Reactivity, Medicinal Chemistry and Natural Products Team, Faculty of Sciences of MonastirUniversity of MonastirMonastirTunisia
  3. 3.Laboratory of Interfaces and Advanced Materials, Faculty of Sciences of MonastirUniversity of MonastirMonastirTunisia
  4. 4.National Institute of Marine Sciences and TechnologiesSalambôoTunisia

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