Bioactive Pectic Polysaccharides

Chapter
Part of the Advances in Polymer Science book series (POLYMER, volume 186)

Abstract

Polysaccharides from plants have been the subject of studies for a very long time, mainly focussed on their physical properties, their chemical and physical modification, and their application. Over the last 20 years there has been increasing interest in the biological activity of the natural polysaccharide polymers. These studies became possible as a result of the scientific development of isolation, purification and characterisation methods concomitant with the development of fairly simple in vitro tests for effects especially on the immune system. The growing acceptance of the knowledge to be gained by people still using so-called traditional medicine in finding sources worthy of study has led to new sources for interesting bioactive plant polysaccharides. This chapter contains only the knowledge on bioactive plant polysaccharides of the pectic type gained over approximately the last ten years and the focus is on those papers where structural characterisation has been performed. For this reason, the reader may not find all of the plants studied during this period within the chapter. Discussions concerning the structural aspects of polysaccharides that may be responsible for activity, are included where relevant.

Arabinogalactans Bioactivity Medicinal plants Rhamnogalacturonans Pectins Structure-activity relations 

Abbreviations

AceA

aceric acid

AFM

atomic force microscopy

AG-I

arabinogalactan type I

AG-II

arabinogalactan type II

Api

apiose

Araf

arabinofuranose

DHA

3-deoxy-D-lyxo-2-heptulosaric acid

DP

Degree of polymerisation

Galp

galactopyranose

GalpA

galactopyruronic acid

GlcA

glucuronic acid

Glcp

glucopyranose

IL-6

interleucine 6

KDO

3-deoxy-D-manno-octulosonic acid

NK cells

natural killer cells

p.o.

per os

RG-I

rhamnogalacturonan type I

RG-II

rhamnogalacturonan type II

Rhap

rhamnopyranose

Xyl

xylose

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PharmacyDepartment of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Section PharmacognosyOsloNorway

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