Background: Sargassum polycystum C. Agardh has potent antioxidant and antiinflammatory
properties. However, its anti-allergic effect has not yet been reported. In this study, we
investigated the anti-allergic effects of sulfated polysaccharide of S. polycystum (SPSP) in Dinitrofluorobenzene
(DNFB)- induced allergic contact dermatitis animal model.
Methods: SPSP was extracted through the hot water extraction method and was subjected to compositional
analyses. For the Allergic Contact Dermatitis (ACD) model, symptoms were induced by the
topical application of 0.5% DNFB on the shaved ventral skin of mice. SPSP (500, 1000, and 2000
mg/kg) and Prednisolone were orally administered for seven days after sensitization. Elicitation was
performed seven days later with 0.2% DNFB. After this, ear thickness was measured at baseline and
24 hours post elicitation using a dial thickness gauge. Serum of mice was obtained 24 hours post
elicitation, and the level of IFNγ and TNFα was quantified by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays
Results: SPSP afforded 33.6% carbohydrates, 23.7% sulfate, 7.5% protein, and 1.5% uronic acid
contents. SPSP inhibited the ear swelling and cytokines (IFNγ and TNFα) production in DNFBinduced
mice in a dose-dependent manner. In comparison with Prednisolone (p>0.05), the highest
concentration (2000 mg/kg) of SPSP showed a comparable anti-allergic effect.
Conclusion: These findings showed that the sulfated polysaccharide from S. polycystum is a potential
natural source to treat allergic contact dermatitis. The effect is attributed to the polysaccharideprotein
complex present in the extract, but further studies are needed to establish the exact mechanism
of action of SPSP in the treatment of the disease.