Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 30, Issue 6, pp 3243–3252 | Cite as

Neuroprotective effects of fucoxanthin and its derivative fucoxanthinol from the phaeophyte Undaria pinnatifida attenuate oxidative stress in hippocampal neurons

  • Md. Mohibbullah
  • Md. Nazmul Haque
  • Mohammed Nurul Absar Khan
  • In-Sik Park
  • Il Soo Moon
  • Yong-Ki HongEmail author
8th Asian Pacific Phycological Forum


Neuroprotective and neurotrophic supports are critical for neuronal survival, outgrowth, and functional activity in the degenerating brain where oxidative stress is a leading cause of neurological disorders. An ethanol extract of the phaeophyte Undaria pinnatifida (UPE) concentration dependently increased the viability of rat hippocampal neurons in both hypoxia-induced oxidative stress and normoxic conditions. UPE, at an optimal 15 μg mL−1, significantly reduced reactive oxygen species formation, DNA fragmentation, early and late apoptosis rates, and mitochondrial membrane dysfunction against hypoxia. In addition, the most active neuroprotectant from UPE was identified as fucoxanthin (Fx) by reverse-phase high-pressure liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) and 1H NMR. Fucoxanthinol (FxOH), a metabolite after enzymatic hydrolysis of Fx, significantly provided protection from neurite breakage and also enhanced the length of neurites in hypoxia cultures. The findings suggest that UPE and its active component Fx as well as FxOH have the ability to protect central nervous system neurons through anti-excitatory and anti-oxidative actions.


Fucoxanthin Fucoxanthinol Hippocampal neuron Hypoxia Undaria pinnatifida Phaeophyta 


Funding information

This work was supported by a research grant from Pukyong National University (Year 2017).

Compliance with ethical standards

All animal care and use were in accordance with the institutional guidelines and approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee of the College of Medicine, Dongguk University, Republic of Korea.


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiotechnologyPukyong National UniversityBusanRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Anatomy, College of MedicineDongguk UniversityGyeongjuRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Department of Fishing & Post-Harvest TechnologyChittagong Veterinary and Animal Sciences UniversityChittagongBangladesh
  4. 4.Department of Anatomy, College of Korean MedicineDongguk UniversityGyeongjuRepublic of Korea

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