Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 30, Issue 6, pp 3253–3260 | Cite as

Neuritogenic and in vitro antioxidant activities of Malaysian Gracilaria manilaensis Yamamoto & Trono

  • Jun-Rui Pang
  • Veronica Ming-Jun Goh
  • Cheng-Yau Tan
  • Siew-Moi Phang
  • Kah-Hui Wong
  • Yoon-Yen YowEmail author
8th Asian Pacific Phycological Forum


Numerous marine-based compounds have been identified as having diverse biological activities. Gracilaria manilaensis Yamamoto & Trono is a red agarophyte endemic to the Malaysia coastal area. It is used as a gelling and thickening agent for food industries. In this study, the rat pheochromocytoma cell line (PC-12Adh) was employed as in vitro model to investigate the neuritogenic activities in hot aqueous, methanol, and ethanol extracts of G. manilaensis. Phytochemical contents and in vitro antioxidant activities of the extracts were also determined. All G. manilaensis extracts were found to increase the percentage of neurite-bearing cells and upregulated the neuronal cytoskeleton of PC-12Adh cells with no inhibition across the tested concentration range (0–0.15 mg mL−1). The methanol and ethanol extracts had higher phenolic and flavonoid contents than the hot aqueous extract. They also showed higher antioxidant activities against 2,2-diphenyl-1-pircryhydrazyl (DPPH) and 2,2′-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid) (ABTS) free radicals and higher reducing power compared to the hot aqueous extract. It is believed that G. manilaensis may possess potent bioactive compounds that mimic the neuroactivity of the nerve growth factor (NGF) for neuronal survival, development, and differentiation. It has been suggested that agar producer G. manilaensis might be a promising dietary supplement for cognitive health in the prevention of neurological disorders.


Gracilaria manilaensis PC-12Adh Neuritogenesis Antioxidant Phytochemicals 


Funding information

This research was funded by Sunway Internal Research Grants (project no.: INT-FST-DBS-2016-1 & INTS-2017-SST-DBS-01) from Sunway University and Jeffery Cheah foundation Scholarship. We are thankful to the Mushroom Research Centre, University of Malaya, for providing the PC-12Adh cell line. Special thanks to Ms. Chai-Chee Ng for her technical supports.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jun-Rui Pang
    • 1
  • Veronica Ming-Jun Goh
    • 1
  • Cheng-Yau Tan
    • 2
  • Siew-Moi Phang
    • 2
  • Kah-Hui Wong
    • 3
  • Yoon-Yen Yow
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biological Sciences, School of Science & TechnologySunway UniversityBandar SunwayMalaysia
  2. 2.Institute of Ocean and Earth SciencesUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  3. 3.Department of Anatomy, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia

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