A Sulphated Fucan From the Laminaria Abyssalis Inhibits the Human T Cell Lymphotropic Virus Type 1-induced Syncytium Formation in HeLa Cells

Antivir Chem Chemother. 2002 Jul;13(4):219-21. doi: 10.1177/095632020201300402.


This work evaluated the effect of a sulphated fucan extracted from the Laminaria abyssalis marine algae on the human T cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1)-induced syncytium formation. The experiments were carried out in HeLa cells cocultured with a HTLV-1-infected T cell line (C91/PL cells) in the presence of the sulphated polysaccharide at concentration below that corresponding to the ED50. The sulphated fucan inhibited almost 100% of the syncytium formation at concentration of 100 microg/mI and was still active (>95%) at a concentration of 25 microg/ml. It was also observed that the best inhibition occurred when the compound was added in the first 2 h of the cell-to-cell contact. This is the first report showing that a purified sulphated polysaccharide, extracted from marine algae, is able to inhibit the cell-to-cell contact essential for the spreading of the HTLV-1.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Communication / drug effects
  • Cell Communication / physiology
  • Dextran Sulfate / pharmacology
  • Giant Cells / drug effects*
  • Giant Cells / virology
  • HTLV-I Infections / virology
  • HeLa Cells
  • Human T-lymphotropic virus 1 / drug effects*
  • Human T-lymphotropic virus 1 / physiology
  • Humans
  • Laminaria / chemistry*
  • Polysaccharides / pharmacology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / virology
  • Time Factors
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Polysaccharides
  • Dextran Sulfate
  • fucoidan