Selectins are cell receptors that are important in white blood cell adhesion to capillary walls and subsequent tissue infiltration. White blood cells are important in immune surveillance and control of pathogens, yet, in excess, can cause tissue damage. Fucoidans are good blockers of selectins and show some promise in the prevention of the post-ischemic recruitment of leukocytes that can badly damage organs, so-called ‘reperfusion injury’. Several demonstrations of this activity have been reported, for heart, kidney and brain injury amelioration. Fucoidan may also assist in the prevention of excessive inflammation in chronic disease such as cardiovascular conditions. As selectins are also important in the adhesion of platelets and clot formation, specially selected fucoidan fractions may have a role in the prevention of pathological clotting. Fucoidans are also useful tools in in vitro cell biology models and – as studies continue into the potential of fucoidan as a selectin-blocking agent – Marinova is expanding its library of characterized, high purity fractions for further investigation in this area.
For examples of fucoidan activity in this area, refer to the following journal articles:
Cumashi A, Ushakova NA, Preobrazhenskaya ME, et al. A comparative study of the antiinflammatory, anticoagulant, antiangiogenic, and antiadhesive activities of nine different fucoidans from brown seaweeds. Glycobiology 2007;17(5):541-552.
Jaeschke H. Anti-selectin therapy against hepatic ischemia-reperfusion injury. Hepatology. 2003;37(1):220-222.
Peter C, Barth C, Petri E, et al. Spermine and Endothelial Damage During Endotoxemia. Inflammation 2008;31(3):208-213.