Okinawa mozuku (Cladosiphon okamuranus
Tokida) is an edible seaweed classified as brown algae and is a native species of the Ryukyu Islands in Japan. In recent years, the genomic decoding of Okinawa mozuku has been completed. Previous studies on the anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antitumor properties of Okinawa mozuku have suggested that it affects the regulation of cellular and humoral immunity. The aim of the present study was to examine the immunoregulatory effect of fucoidan derived from Okinawa mozuku in mice. A product containing fucoidan (purity, 88.3%; molecular weight, 49.8 kDa) was developed from Okinawa mozuku and tested for its immunoregulatory effects in mice. The experimental animals were 8-week-old female BALB/c mice to which fucoidan (0, 102.5, 205.0, 410.0, and 1025.0 mg/kg) was administered orally continuously for six weeks. Immune cell proliferation, cytokine production, macrophage phagocytosis, and serum antibody concentration were measured. We found that immune cell proliferation, interleukin (IL)-2, macrophage phagocytes, and serum antibodies (IgM, -G, -A) increased significantly, but IL-4, -5, and IgE decreased significantly. These results indicated that fucoidan modulated cellular and humoral immunity.
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