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Salt pan brine water as a sustainable source of sulphated polysaccharides with immunostimulatory activity

Nunes, Cláudia, Rocha, Ana, Quitério, Pedro, Ferreira, Sónia S., Correia, Alexandra, Vilanova, Manuel, Coimbra, Manuel A.
International journal of biological macromolecules 2019 v.133 pp. 235-242
B-lymphocytes, bioactive compounds, bioactive properties, functional foods, galactans, glucans, immunostimulants, mannans, marine environment, polymers, seawater
Marine environments are an enormous source of materials with biological interest, such as sulphated polysaccharides, which have relevant biological activities. In this study the potential of salt pan brine water as an easily accessible source of sulphated polysaccharides was evaluated. This water revealed to have a high quantity of polymeric material, five times more than sea water, mainly composed by highly sulphated polysaccharides. Structural analysis identified a diversity of polysaccharides, namely rhamnans, fucans, mannans, xylomannans, glucuronomannans, galactans, and glucans. All these structures seem to form complexes that are resistant to the salt pan conditions along salt production. These polysaccharides showed in vitro stimulatory activity for B cells, suggesting their potential application in nutraceutical and biomedical fields. Salt pan brine water is a valuable source of environmentally friendly and low-cost available bioactive compounds prone to be exploited.