Fucoidan protects against lipopolysaccharide-induced rat neuronal damage and inhibits the production of proinflammatory mediators in primary microglia

CNS Neurosci Ther. 2012 Oct;18(10):827-33. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-5949.2012.00372.x.


Background: Fucoidan, a sulfated polysaccharide extracted from brown algae, possesses potent antiinflammatory effects.

Aims: To examine the effect of fucoidan treatment on inflammation-mediated dopaminergic neuronal damage and its potential mechanisms.

Methods: Microglial activation and injury of dopaminergic neurons were induced by intranigral injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and the effects of fucoidan treatment on animal behavior, microglial activation and survival ratio of dopaminergic neurons were investigated. We further observed the efficacy of fucoidan on tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in LPS-activated primary microglia.

Results: Fucoidan significantly improved the behavioral manifestation, prevented the loss of dopaminergic neurons and inhibited the deleterious activation of microglia in the substantia nigra pars compacta of LPS-treated rats. Further in vitro experiments indicated that the excessive production of TNF-α and ROS in LPS-induced primary microglia were significantly inhibited by fucoidan administration.

Conclusion: This is the first study to demonstrate that fucoidan possesses neuroprotective effects on injured dopaminergic neurons in a LPS-induced animal model of Parkinson's disease. The mechanisms underlying these effects may include its potent down-regulation of intracellular ROS and subsequent proinflammatory cytokine release in LPS-activated microglia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Apomorphine / pharmacology
  • Brain Injuries / chemically induced*
  • Brain Injuries / complications
  • Brain Injuries / prevention & control*
  • CD11b Antigen / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dopamine Agonists / pharmacology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Lipopolysaccharides / toxicity*
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / drug therapy
  • Mental Disorders / etiology
  • Microglia / drug effects
  • Microglia / metabolism*
  • Neuroprotective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Polysaccharides / therapeutic use*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Stereotyped Behavior / drug effects
  • Stereotyped Behavior / physiology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / genetics
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism*
  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase / metabolism


  • CD11b Antigen
  • Dopamine Agonists
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Polysaccharides
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • fucoidan
  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase
  • Apomorphine