Soluble β-1,3/1,6-glucan in seaweed from the southern hemisphere and its immunomodulatory effect

Francisca Bobadilla, Carolina Rodriguez-Tirado, Mónica Imarai, María José Galotto, Roger Andersson

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50 Scopus citations


Five types of macroalgae from the southern hemisphere were analysed for the presence of β-1,3/1,6-glucan and its immunostimulant properties. We were able to extract soluble β-1,3/1,6-d-glucan from Durvillaea antarctica (Chamisso) Hariot (DA). The morphology of the brown algae influenced extraction, and the highest percentage of β-glucan was found in the fronds. The content of β-glucan in the stipes and holdfast was on average 33% and <5%, respectively, of that in the fronds. A simple laboratory extraction process was developed. A highly pure water-soluble polysaccharide, mainly composed of glucose residues, was obtained with a dominant average molecular weight of 6.9 kDa. NMR spectroscopy confirmed the polysaccharide structure to be of β-1,3/1,6-glucan type, comprising a β-1,3-glucan backbone and 21% degree of branching of β-1,6-glucan side chains. Mouse cells were exposed to four DA extract concentrations in water (50, 100, 250 and 500 μg/mL) and no adverse effects on survival were noted. Remarkably, the β-glucan induced a 16.9% increase in activated CD19+ B lymphocytes compared with the control sample. The optimal concentration for maximum activity was 100 μg DA extract/mL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-248
Number of pages8
JournalCarbohydrate Polymers
Issue number1
StatePublished - 30 Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Durvillaea antarctica (Chamisso) Hariot
  • Immunological action
  • Polymer structure
  • Polysaccharide
  • β-1,3/1,6-Glucan


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