Fucoidan improves bioactivity and vasculogenic potential of mesenchymal stem cells in murine hind limb ischemia associated with chronic kidney disease

J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2016 Aug;97:169-79. doi: 10.1016/j.yjmcc.2016.05.011. Epub 2016 May 20.


Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular and peripheral vascular disease. Although mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-based therapy is a promising strategy for treatment of ischemic diseases associated with CKD, the associated pathophysiological conditions lead to low survival and proliferation of transplanted MSCs. To address these limitations, we investigated the effects of fucoidan, a sulfated polysaccharide, on the bioactivity of adipose tissue-derived MSCs and the potential of fucoidan-treated MSCs to improve neovascularization in ischemic tissues of CKD mice. Treatment of MSCs with fucoidan increased their proliferative potential and the expression of cell cycle-associated proteins, such as cyclin E, cyclin dependent kinase (CDK) 2, cyclin D1, and CDK4, via focal adhesion kinase and the phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate 3-kinase-Akt axis. Moreover, fucoidan enhanced the immunomodulatory activity of MSCs through the ERK-IDO-1 signal cascade. Fucoidan was found to augment the proliferation, incorporation, and endothelial differentiation of transplanted MSCs at ischemic sites in CKD mice hind limbs. In addition, transplantation of fucoidan-treated MSCs enhanced the ratio of blood flow and limb salvage in CKD mice with hind limb ischemia. To our knowledge, our findings are the first to reveal that fucoidan enhances the bioactivity of MSCs and improves their neovascularization in ischemic injured tissues of CKD. In conclusion, fucoidan-treated MSCs may provide an important pathway toward therapeutic neovascularization in patients with CKD.

Keywords: Chronic kidney disease; Fucoidan; Ischemic disease; Mesenchymal stem cells; Neovascularization; Vascular repair.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers
  • Cell Adhesion / drug effects
  • Cell Cycle / drug effects
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases
  • Hindlimb / blood supply*
  • Hindlimb / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Ischemia / drug therapy
  • Ischemia / etiology*
  • Ischemia / metabolism*
  • Ischemia / rehabilitation
  • Macrophages / drug effects
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / cytology
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / drug effects*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Phenotype
  • Phosphorylation
  • Polysaccharides / pharmacology*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / complications*


  • Biomarkers
  • Polysaccharides
  • fucoidan
  • Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases