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Open AccessArticle

Phytosterols from Dunaliella tertiolecta Reduce Cell Proliferation in Sheep Fed Flaxseed during Post Partum

Department of the Sciences of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Foggia, Via Napoli, 25-71121 Foggia, Italy
Institute of Marine Science, National Research Council, Arsenale Castello, 2737/F, 30122 Venice, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Mar. Drugs 2017, 15(7), 216;
Received: 22 May 2017 / Revised: 16 June 2017 / Accepted: 30 June 2017 / Published: 6 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Compounds and Inflammation II, 2017)
PDF [1903 KB, uploaded 6 July 2017]


The post partum period is characterized by immunosuppression and increased disease susceptibility. Both phytosterols from microalga Dunaniella tertiolecta and dietary supplementation with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) influence cell proliferation and cytokine release during inflammation. The objective of this paper was the evaluation of the effects of physterols, extracted and purified from D. tertiolecta, on the in vitro immune responses of ewes supplemented with flaxseed during post partum. Twenty Comisana parturient ewes were divided in two balanced groups, and supplemented with flaxseed (FS, 250 g/day) or fed with a conventional diet (CON). Blood samples (15 mL) were collected for five weeks, starting from lambing, in order to isolate peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). Stimulated PBMC were treated with a total sterols fraction from D. tertiolecta (TS), a mix of ergosterol and 7-dehydroporiferasterol (purified extract, PE), and a mix of acetylated ergosterol and 7-dehydroporiferasterol (acetylated purified extract, AcPE), extracted and purified from D. tertiolecta at two concentrations (0.4 and 0.8 mg/mL). Results of the experiment demonstrated that n-3 PUFA from flaxseed induced an anti-inflammatory cytokine profile, with an increase of both IL-10, IL-6 and a decrease of IL-1β. TS, PE, and AcPE purified from D. tertiolecta showed an anti-proliferative effect on sheep PBMC regardless their chemical composition and concentration. View Full-Text
Keywords: cytokines; sheep; post partum; proliferation; phytosterols cytokines; sheep; post partum; proliferation; phytosterols

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Ciliberti, M.G.; Francavilla, M.; Intini, S.; Albenzio, M.; Marino, R.; Santillo, A.; Caroprese, M. Phytosterols from Dunaliella tertiolecta Reduce Cell Proliferation in Sheep Fed Flaxseed during Post Partum. Mar. Drugs 2017, 15, 216.

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