Background: Sulfated fucans show interesting effects in the treatment of ocular diseases (e.g., age-related macular degeneration), depending on their chemical structure. Here, we compared three purified sulfated fucans from Laminaria hyperborea
(LH) regarding cell viability, oxidative stress protection, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) secretion in ocular cells. Methods: High-molecular-weight sulfated fucan (Mw
= 1548.6 kDa, Fuc1) was extracted with warm water and purified through ultrafiltration. Lower-molecular-weight samples (Mw
= 499 kDa, Fuc2; 26.9 kDa, Fuc3) were obtained by mild acid hydrolysis of ultrapurified sulfated fucan and analyzed (SEC-MALS (Size-exclusion chromatography-Multi-Angle Light Scattering), ICP-MS, and GC). Concentrations between 1 and 100 µg/mL were tested. Cell viability was measured after 24 h (uveal melanoma cell line (OMM-1), retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cell line ARPE-19, primary RPE cells) via MTT/MTS (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide/3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl)-2-(4-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium) assay. Oxidative stress protection was determined after 24 h (OMM-1, ARPE-19). VEGF secretion was analyzed via ELISA after three days (ARPE-19, RPE). Results: Fuc2 and Fuc3 were antiproliferative for OMM-1, but not for ARPE. Fuc1 protected OMM-1. VEGF secretion was lowered with all fucans except Fuc3 in ARPE-19 and RPE. The results suggest a correlation between molecular weight and biological activity, with efficiency increasing with size. Conclusion: The LH sulfated fucan Fuc1 showed promising results regarding VEGF inhibition and protection, encouraging further medical research.
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