The suppressive effect of Mekabu fucoidan on an attachment of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts to the intestinal epithelial cells in neonatal mice

Life Sci. 2007 Jan 30;80(8):775-81. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2006.11.020. Epub 2006 Nov 16.


The present study was done to investigate the effects of fucoidan and de-sulfated fucoidan isolated from the sporophyll of Undaria pinnatifida on the C. parvum adhesion to the cultured human intestinal cells and on the C. parvum infection in neonatal mice. The C. parvum adhesion to human Intestinal 407 cells was significantly suppressed by a low dose (1 micro g/ml) of Mekabu fucoidan (1 micro g/ml) (approx. 20.5 oocysts, p<0.0001), but not by de-sulfated fucoidan (approx. 138.2 oocysts), as compared with that (approx. 121.0 oocysts) of phosphate-buffered saline (PBS). The in vivo experiments presented here revealed that C. parvum oocysts in the fucoidan-treated mice was reduced nearly one fifth (approx. 5.4x10(4) oocysts, p<0.02) of the total number of oocysts (approx. 3.0x10(5)) in mice treated with PBS, but no significant effect of de-sulfated fucoidan was observed. These results show that (i) fucoidan effectively inhibits the growth of C. parvum in mice; and (ii) the ester sulfate of fucoidan is an active site to prevent the adhesion of C. parvum to the intestinal epithelial cells. Finally, we concluded that fucoidan might inhibit cryptosporidiosis through the direct binding of fucoidan to the C. parvum-derived functional mediators in the intestinal epithelial cells in neonatal mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Antiprotozoal Agents / metabolism
  • Antiprotozoal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Binding Sites
  • Cell Adhesion / drug effects
  • Cell Adhesion / physiology
  • Cell Line
  • Cryptosporidiosis / drug therapy*
  • Cryptosporidiosis / parasitology
  • Cryptosporidiosis / pathology
  • Cryptosporidium parvum / drug effects*
  • Cryptosporidium parvum / physiology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Host-Parasite Interactions / drug effects
  • Host-Parasite Interactions / physiology
  • Intestinal Mucosa / drug effects*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Oocysts / drug effects*
  • Oocysts / physiology
  • Plant Extracts / metabolism
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Polysaccharides / metabolism
  • Polysaccharides / pharmacology*
  • Specific Pathogen-Free Organisms
  • Undaria / chemistry*


  • Antiprotozoal Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • Polysaccharides
  • fucoidan