Fucoidan is a sulfated polysaccharide from brown sea algae. In the present study, it was demonstrated that oral administration of F-fucoidan from Saccharina japonica possessed anti-allergic effects using the passive cutaneous anaphylaxis reaction, but not by intraperitoneal administration. The inhibitory mechanism was dependent on galectin-9, which belongs to a soluble lectin family that recognizes β-galactoside and prevents IgE binding to mast cells. The anti-allergy properties of F-fucoidan were cancelled by an intravenous dose of anti-galectin-9 antibody or lactose, which bind competitively with galectin-9 before the passive cutaneous anaphylaxis reaction. F-fucoidan increased the expression level of galectin-9 mRNA in intestinal epithelial cells and serum galectin-9 levels. Oral treatment with F-fucoidan suppressed allergic symptoms through the induction of galectin-9. This is the first report that F-fucoidan can induce the secretion of galectin-9.
Keywords: F-fucoidan; allergy; galectin-9.