Special Issue "Marine Immunomodulators"

A special issue of Marine Drugs (ISSN 1660-3397).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2019.

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Alba Silipo Website E-Mail
Department of Chemical Sciences, University of Napoli Federico II, Complesso Universitario Monte S. Angelo, Via Cintia 4, I-80126 Napoli, Italy
Phone: +39 081 674 404
Interests: Glycoconjugates; Lipopolysaccharides; NMR spectroscopy; Innate immunity; NMR study of protein-ligand interaction; NMR-based conformational analysis

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

About seventy percent of the Earth's surface is covered by water populated by billions of different organisms, yet research into the chemical biology of such marine organisms is limited and mostly unexplored in terms of biology and chemistry beyond. The marine system offers an ecological resource comprising a variety of aquatic plants and animals. Therefore, the marine environment represents countless and diverse resources for new drugs to combat major diseases such as cancer or malaria and a source of molecules that is able to “drive” the mammalian immunity system, i.e., immunodulators. Indeed, the aquatic organisms have to be screened for antibacterial, immunomodulator, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antimicrobial, neuroprotective, analgesic, and antimalarial properties. This potential is immense, and these molecules can be used as new drugs for several different purposes.

Marine drugs research is, however, still at a primary stage. Having an enormous variety with a great diversity of organisms and virgin areas of marine life, the prospects of yielding more novel products from the sea is enormous and should be pursued. 

The aim of this special issue is to collect as many papers as possible on molecules deriving from marine organisms that have immunomodulatory activity, i.e., are able to modulate innate or adaptative mammalian immune responses. Amplifying such an interesting and astounding area of natural products research has also the secondary aim of getting a clearer idea of the priority of the drugs that are to be developed and possible new drug candidates of a marine origin.

Prof. Alba Silipo
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Marine Drugs is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • marine organisms
  • structure-activity relationship
  • immunomodulatory molecules
  • structural characterization
  • NMR spectroscopy
  • mass spectrometry

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Characterization and Immunomodulatory Effects of High Molecular Weight Fucoidan Fraction from the Sporophyll of Undaria pinnatifida in Cyclophosphamide-Induced Immunosuppressed Mice
Mar. Drugs 2019, 17(8), 447; https://doi.org/10.3390/md17080447 - 29 Jul 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Immunomodulation involves two mechanisms, immunostimulation and immunosuppression. It is a complex mechanism that regulates the pathophysiology and pathogenesis of various diseases affecting the immune system. Immunomodulators can be used as immunostimulators to reduce the side effects of drugs that induce immunosuppression. In this [...] Read more.
Immunomodulation involves two mechanisms, immunostimulation and immunosuppression. It is a complex mechanism that regulates the pathophysiology and pathogenesis of various diseases affecting the immune system. Immunomodulators can be used as immunostimulators to reduce the side effects of drugs that induce immunosuppression. In this study, we characterized the chemical composition of high molecular weight fucoidan (HMWF) and low molecular weight fucoidan and compared their functions as natural killer (NK) cell-derived immunostimulators in vitro. We also tested the effectiveness of HMWF, which has a relatively high function in vitro, as an immunostimulator in immunosuppressed animal models. In these models, HWMF significantly restored NK cell cytotoxicity and granzyme B release to the control group level. In addition, the expression of interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-12, interferon (IFN)-γ, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α also increased in the spleen. This study suggests that HMWF acts as an effective immunostimulant under immunosuppressive conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Immunomodulators)
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Open AccessArticle
Ascophyllan Induces Activation of Natural Killer Cells in Mice In Vivo and In Vitro
Mar. Drugs 2019, 17(4), 197; https://doi.org/10.3390/md17040197 - 28 Mar 2019
Abstract
Natural marine polysaccharides have demonstrated immune stimulatory effects in both mice and humans. Our previous study compared the ability of ascophyllan and fucoidan to activate human and mouse dendritic cells (DCs). In this study, we further examined the effect of ascophyllan on the [...] Read more.
Natural marine polysaccharides have demonstrated immune stimulatory effects in both mice and humans. Our previous study compared the ability of ascophyllan and fucoidan to activate human and mouse dendritic cells (DCs). In this study, we further examined the effect of ascophyllan on the activation of mouse natural killer (NK) cells in vivo and in vitro and compared it to that of fucoidan, a well-studied natural marine polysaccharide. Specifically, administration of ascophyllan to C57BL/6 mice increased the number of NK cells in the spleen when compared to the number in PBS-treated mice. Moreover, the number of IFN-γ-producing NK cells and expression of CD69 were markedly upregulated by ascophyllan treatment. Ascophyllan treatment also induced IFN-γ production and CD69 upregulation in isolated NK cells, but did not promote cell proliferation. Finally, ascophyllan treatment increased the cytotoxicity of NK cells against Yac-1 cells. The effects of ascophyllan on NK cell activation were considerably stronger than those of fucoidan. These data demonstrated that ascophyllan promotes NK cell activation both in mice and in vitro, and its stimulatory effect on NK cells is stronger than that of fucoidan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Immunomodulators)
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Open AccessArticle
Brevenal, a Marine Natural Product, is Anti-Inflammatory and an Immunomodulator of Macrophage and Lung Epithelial Cells
Mar. Drugs 2019, 17(3), 184; https://doi.org/10.3390/md17030184 - 20 Mar 2019
Abstract
Chronic respiratory diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis, and asthma, are some of the leading causes of illness and fatalities worldwide. The search for novel treatments led to the exploration of marine natural products as drug candidates to combat the [...] Read more.
Chronic respiratory diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis, and asthma, are some of the leading causes of illness and fatalities worldwide. The search for novel treatments led to the exploration of marine natural products as drug candidates to combat the debilitating effects of mucus accumulation and chronic inflammation. Previous research showed that an alga-derived compound, brevenal, could attenuate the effects of inflammatory agents, but the mechanisms by which it exerted its effects remained unclear. We investigated the effects of brevenal on lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced cytokine/chemokine production from murine macrophages and human lung epithelial cells. It was found that brevenal reduces proinflammatory mediator secretion while preserving anti-inflammatory secretion from these cells. Furthermore, we found that brevenal does not alter cell surface Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) expression, thereby maintaining the cells’ ability to respond to bacterial infection. However, brevenal does alter macrophage activation states, as demonstrated by reduced expression of both M1 and M2 phenotype markers, indicating this putative anti-inflammatory drug shifts innate immune cells to a less active state. Such a mechanism of action would be ideal for reducing inflammation in the lung, especially with patients suffering from chronic respiratory diseases, where inflammation can be lethal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Immunomodulators)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Purification and Characterization of a Novel Pentadecapeptide from Protein Hydrolysates of Cyclina sinensis and Its Immunomodulatory Effects on RAW264.7 Cells
Mar. Drugs 2019, 17(1), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/md17010030 - 06 Jan 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
In the present study, peptide fractions of Cyclina sinensis hydrolysates, with molecular weight (MW) < 3 kDa and highest relative proliferation rate of murine macrophage cell line RAW 264.7, were purified by a series of chromatographic purification methods, to obtain peptide fractions with [...] Read more.
In the present study, peptide fractions of Cyclina sinensis hydrolysates, with molecular weight (MW) < 3 kDa and highest relative proliferation rate of murine macrophage cell line RAW 264.7, were purified by a series of chromatographic purification methods, to obtain peptide fractions with immunomodulatory activity. The amino acid sequence of the peptide was identified to be Arg-Val-Ala-Pro-Glu-Glu-His-Pro-Val-Glu-Gly-Arg-Tyr-Leu-Val (RVAPEEHPVEGRYLV) with MW of 1750.81 Da, and the novel pentadecapeptide (named SCSP) was synthesized for subsequent immunomodulatory activity experiments. Results showed the SCSP enhanced macrophage phagocytosis, increased productions of nitric oxide (NO), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and interleukin-1β (IL-1β), and up-regulated the protein level of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), nuclear factor κB (NF-κB), and NOD-like receptor protein 3 (NLRP3) in RAW 264.7 cells. Furthermore, the expression of inhibitor of nuclear factor κB-α (IκB-α) was down-regulated. These findings suggest that SCSP might stimulate macrophage activities by activating the NF-κB signaling pathway and can be used as a potential immunomodulatory agent in functional food or medicine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Immunomodulators)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Antimicrobial and Immunomodulatory Properties and Applications of Marine-Derived Proteins and Peptides
Mar. Drugs 2019, 17(6), 350; https://doi.org/10.3390/md17060350 - 12 Jun 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Marine organisms provide an abundant source of potential medicines. Many of the marine-derived biomaterials have been shown to act as different mechanisms in immune responses, and in each case they can significantly control the immune system to produce effective reactions. Marine-derived proteins, peptides, [...] Read more.
Marine organisms provide an abundant source of potential medicines. Many of the marine-derived biomaterials have been shown to act as different mechanisms in immune responses, and in each case they can significantly control the immune system to produce effective reactions. Marine-derived proteins, peptides, and protein hydrolysates exhibit various physiologic functions, such as antimicrobial, anticancer, antioxidant, antihypertensive, and anti-inflammatory activities. Recently, the immunomodulatory properties of several antimicrobial peptides have been demonstrated. Some of these peptides directly kill bacteria and exhibit a variety of immunomodulatory activities that improve the host innate immune response and effectively eliminate infection. The properties of immunomodulatory proteins and peptides correlate with their amino acid composition, sequence, and length. Proteins and peptides with immunomodulatory properties have been tested in vitro and in vivo, and some of them have undergone different clinical and preclinical trials. This review provides a comprehensive overview of marine immunomodulatory proteins, peptides, and protein hydrolysates as well as their production, mechanisms of action, and applications in human therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Immunomodulators)
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Open AccessReview
Oceans as a Source of Immunotherapy
Mar. Drugs 2019, 17(5), 282; https://doi.org/10.3390/md17050282 - 10 May 2019
Abstract
Marine flora is taxonomically diverse, biologically active, and chemically unique. It is an excellent resource, which offers great opportunities for the discovery of new biopharmaceuticals such as immunomodulators and drugs targeting cancerous, inflammatory, microbial, and fungal diseases. The ability of some marine molecules [...] Read more.
Marine flora is taxonomically diverse, biologically active, and chemically unique. It is an excellent resource, which offers great opportunities for the discovery of new biopharmaceuticals such as immunomodulators and drugs targeting cancerous, inflammatory, microbial, and fungal diseases. The ability of some marine molecules to mediate specific inhibitory activities has been demonstrated in a range of cellular processes, including apoptosis, angiogenesis, and cell migration and adhesion. Immunomodulators have been shown to have significant therapeutic effects on immune-mediated diseases, but the search for safe and effective immunotherapies for other diseases such as sinusitis, atopic dermatitis, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and allergies is ongoing. This review focuses on the marine-originated bioactive molecules with immunomodulatory potential, with a particular focus on the molecular mechanisms of specific agents with respect to their targets. It also addresses the commercial utilization of these compounds for possible drug improvement using metabolic engineering and genomics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Immunomodulators)
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