Seaweed extracts have recently been found to have antioxidant and antitumor activities. Capsosiphon fulvescens (Cf) is a green alga and nutrient-dense food source. In a previous study, we extracted polysaccharide from Cf (Cf-PS) and demonstrated its antitumor effect in gastric cancer cells. In this report, we describe the protective effect of Cf-PS against alcohol-induced gastric injury in rats and adenocarcinoma (AGS) cells. In vivo assay revealed stomach damage in rats treated with alcohol alone; however, the stomach condition of rats co-treated with Cf-PS and alcohol matched that of the control group. Cf-PS also inhibited alcohol-induced cell death in AGS cells. Compared with alcohol treatment alone, Cf-PS and alcohol co-treatment increased phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) and Akt but inhibited poly-ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) cleavage. Thus, ERK1/2 and Akt activation are instrumental in the protective effect of Cf-PS against alcohol-induced cell death in AGS cells. Moreover, Cf-PS treatment reduced the expressions of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and the inducible form of nitric oxide (iNOS), proteins related to ulcers. These results suggest that Cf-PS could help protect against alcohol-induced peptic ulcers. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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