Lymphangiogenesis is one of the promoters of tumor lymphatic metastasis. Fucoidan which is a fucose-enriched sulfated polysaccharide has effect on various pharmacological activities including anti-metastasis activity. However, the inhibitory effect of fucoidan on lymphangiogenesis remains unclear. Here, fucoidan extracted from U. pinnatifida sporophylls suppressed HLECs proliferation, migration and tube-like structure formation, and had inhibitory effect of tumor-induced lymphangiogenesis in vitro. Additionally, we found that fucoidan had a dose-dependent depressive effect on the expressions of PROX1, vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 3 (VEGFR3), NF-κB, phospho-PI3K and phospho-Akt in HLECs. Moreover, anti-lymphangiogenesis effect of fucoidan was assessed by using mouse tumor model. In summary, fucoidan inhibit tumor lymphangiogenesis and lymphatic metastasis by suppressing the NF-κB/PI3K/Akt signaling pathway through reduced levels of PROX1 and VEGFR3.
Keywords: PROX1; fucoidan; lymphangiogenesis; lymphatic endothelial cells; lymphatic metastasis.