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Anti-fibrotic effect of paramylon nanofibers from the WZSL mutant of Euglena gracilis on liver damage induced by CCl4 in mice

Kusmic, Claudia, Barsanti, Laura, Di Lascio, Nicole, Faita, Francesco, Evangelista, Valter, Gualtieri, Paolo
Journal of functional foods 2018 v.46 pp. 538-545
Euglena gracilis, adjuvants, beta-glucans, cell membranes, chronic exposure, glucose, granules, innate immunity, liver, mice, mutants, nanofibers, pathogen-associated molecular patterns, polymers, receptors, therapeutics
β-glucans, heterogeneous glucose polymers occurring in many organisms, are considered Pathogen-Associated Molecular Patterns (PAMPs), which upon recognition by Pattern Recognition Receptors (PRRs) present on cell membranes, trigger a broad array of reactions leading to the activation of the innate immune system. Among β-glucans, paramylon from the non-photosynthetic unicellular mutant of Euglena gracilis can be considered a quite peculiar case. It can be processed to produce linear glucan chains, capable of interacting with PRR present on cell membranes. We designed a study as a ‘proof of concept’ experimental controlled trial to investigate the effects of paramylon nanofibers obtained from paramylon granules of Euglena WZSL mutant on hepatic injury induced in mice by chronic exposure to CCl4. Our results indicate that very low dosage of paramylon nanofibers has a protective action on hepatic injury induced by CCl4, and suggest that this compound deserves attentive investigations as therapeutic adjuvant in hepatic damage.