Pretreatment with Fucoidan from Fucus vesiculosus Protected against ConA-Induced Acute Liver Injury by Inhibiting Both Intrinsic and Extrinsic Apoptosis

PLoS One. 2016 Apr 1;11(4):e0152570. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0152570. eCollection 2016.


This study aimed to explore the effects of fucoidan from Fucus vesiculosus on concanavalin A (ConA)-induced acute liver injury in mice. Pretreatment with fucoidan protected liver function indicated by ALT, AST and histopathological changes by suppressing inflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and interferon gamma (IFN-γ). In addition, intrinsic and extrinsic apoptosis mediated by Bax, Bid, Bcl-2, Bcl-xL and Caspase 3, 8, and 9 were inhibited by fucoidan and the action was associated with the TRADD/TRAF2 and JAK2/STAT1 signal pathways. Our results demonstrated that fucoidan from Fucus vesiculosus alleviated ConA-induced acute liver injury via the inhibition of intrinsic and extrinsic apoptosis mediated by the TRADD/TRAF2 and JAK2/STAT1 pathways which were activated by TNF-α and IFN-γ. These findings could provide a potential powerful therapy for T cell-related hepatitis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / pathology
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / prevention & control*
  • Concanavalin A / toxicity*
  • Fucus / chemistry*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Polysaccharides / pharmacology*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects


  • Plant Extracts
  • Polysaccharides
  • Concanavalin A
  • fucoidan

Grant support

This work was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (grant No. 81270515; 81500466). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.