J Nutr Health.  2019 Dec;52(6):515-528. 10.4163/jnh.2019.52.6.515.

Splenocyte-mediated immune enhancing activity of Sargassum horneri extracts

  • 1Division of Natural Product Research, Korea Prime Pharmacy CO., LTD., Jeonnam 58144, Korea.
  • 2Department of Food and Nutrition, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 34134, Korea. kakim@cnu.ac.kr


This study examined the immunological activity and optimized the mixture conditions of Sargassum horneri (S. horneri) extracts in vitro and in vivo models.
S. horneri was extracted using three different methods: hot water extraction (HWE), 50% ethanol extraction (EE), and supercritical fluid extraction (SFE). Splenocyte proliferation and cytokine production (Interleukin-2 and Interferon-γ) were measured using a WST-1 assay and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, respectively. The levels of nitric oxide and T cell activation production were measured using a Griess assay and flow cytometry, respectively. The natural killer (NK) cell activity was determined using an EZ-LDH kit.
Among the three different types of extracts, HWE showed the highest levels of splenocyte proliferation and cytokine production in vitro. In the animal model, three different types of extracts were administrated for 14 days (once/day) at 50 and 100 mg/kg body weight. HWE and SFE showed a high level of splenocyte proliferation and cytokine production in the with and without mitogen-treated groups, whereas EE administration did not induce the splenocyte activation. When RAW264.7 macrophage cells were treated with different mixtures (HWE with 5, 10, 15, 20% of SFE) to determine the optimal mixture ratio of HWE and SFE, the levels of nitric oxide and cytokine production increased strongly in the HWE with 5% and 10% of SFE containing group. In the animal model, HWE with 5% and 10% of SFE mixture administration increased the levels of splenocyte proliferation, cytokine production, and activated CD4⁺ cell population significantly, with the highest level observed in the HWE with 5% of SFE group. Moreover, the NK cell activity was increased significantly in the HWE with 5% of SFE mixture-treated group compared to the control group.
The optimal mixture condition of S. horneri with immune-enhancing activity is the HWE with 5% of SFE mixture. These results confirmed that the extracts of S. horneri and its mixtures are potential candidate materials for immune enhancement.


Sargassum horneri; splenocyte proliferation; cytokine production; optimum mixture ratio; natural killer cell activity
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