Fucoidan Prevents the Progression of Osteoarthritis in Rats

J Med Food. 2015 Sep;18(9):1032-41. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2014.3334. Epub 2015 Jul 21.


This study investigated the effects of fucoidan (extract from Hizikia fusiforme) on symptoms and inflammatory cytokine activation in rats with monosodium iodoacetate (MIA)-induced osteoarthritis (OA). Forty male SD rats were divided into five groups, including normal, negative control (MIA), positive control (Lyprinol), and two experimental groups treated with 50 or 100 mg/kg fucoidan. Weight-bearing assessments were done after MIA injection into the right knee to induce OA. After 14 days of treatment, microcomputed tomographic (micro-CT) images were made of rat knee joints, and then animals were sacrificed for joint histology and inflammatory cytokine level assessments. MIA injection successfully induced OA by causing 40% weight-bearing imbalance, severe bone loss and cartilage degeneration, and markedly increased cytokine levels. However, fucoidan groups showed over 45% of imbalance and no articular cartilage surface lesions or change in subchondral trabecular bones in Micro-CT images. Histological analysis revealed that cartilage morphology and cell counts were also normal in the 100 mg/kg fucoidan group. In addition, the 100 mg/kg fucoidan groups exhibited lower serum tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) (30%), interleukin 1 beta (IL-1β) (48%), and matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) (65%) compared to the MIA groups. These results suggest that administration of fucoidan prevents the progression of OA in a MIA-induced OA rat model.

Keywords: MIA-induced rat; health functional food; matrix metalloproteinases; osteoarthritis; seaweeds.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arthritis, Experimental / drug therapy*
  • Arthritis, Experimental / metabolism
  • Arthritis, Experimental / pathology
  • Bone and Bones / drug effects
  • Cartilage Diseases / prevention & control
  • Cartilage, Articular / drug effects*
  • Cartilage, Articular / pathology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Disease Progression
  • Interleukin-1beta / metabolism
  • Iodoacetates
  • Knee Joint / drug effects
  • Knee Joint / metabolism
  • Knee Joint / pathology
  • Male
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 1 / metabolism
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / drug therapy*
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / metabolism
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / pathology
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Polysaccharides / pharmacology
  • Polysaccharides / therapeutic use*
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Sargassum / chemistry*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism
  • X-Ray Microtomography


  • Interleukin-1beta
  • Iodoacetates
  • Plant Extracts
  • Polysaccharides
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • fucoidan
  • MMP1 protein, rat
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 1