Fucoidan from Fucus vesiculosus protects against alcohol-induced liver damage by modulating inflammatory mediators in mice and HepG2 cells

Mar Drugs. 2015 Feb 16;13(2):1051-67. doi: 10.3390/md13021051.


Fucoidan is an l-fucose-enriched sulfated polysaccharide isolated from brown algae and marine invertebrates. In this study, we investigated the protective effect of fucoidan from Fucus vesiculosus on alcohol-induced murine liver damage. Liver injury was induced by oral administration of 25% alcohol with or without fucoidan (30 mg/kg or 60 mg/kg) for seven days. Alcohol administration increased serum aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase levels, but these increases were suppressed by the treatment of fucoidan. Transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1), a liver fibrosis-inducing factor, was highly expressed in the alcohol-fed group and human hepatoma HepG2 cell; however, the increase in TGF-β1 expression was reduced following fucoidan administration. Treatment with fucoidan was also found to significantly reduce the production of inflammation-promoting cyclooygenase-2 and nitric oxide, while markedly increasing the expression of the hepatoprotective enzyme, hemeoxygenase-1, on murine liver and HepG2 cells. Taken together, the antifibrotic and anti-inflammatory effects of fucoidan on alcohol-induced liver damage may provide valuable insights into developing new therapeutics or interventions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alanine Transaminase / blood
  • Animals
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases / blood
  • Cell Line
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 / metabolism
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Fucus / chemistry*
  • Heme Oxygenase-1 / biosynthesis
  • Hep G2 Cells
  • Hepatitis, Alcoholic / metabolism
  • Hepatitis, Alcoholic / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Nitric Oxide / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Nitric Oxide / biosynthesis
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Polysaccharides / isolation & purification
  • Polysaccharides / pharmacology*
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1 / metabolism


  • Cyclooxygenase 2 Inhibitors
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Polysaccharides
  • Tgfb1 protein, mouse
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1
  • Nitric Oxide
  • fucoidan
  • Heme Oxygenase-1
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases
  • Alanine Transaminase