Ecklonia radiata extract containing eckol protects neuronal cells against Aβ1–42 evoked toxicity and reduces aggregate density†
Brown seaweed (Phaeophyceae) polyphenolics such as phlorotannins are ascribed various biological activities, including neuroprotection. Of these seaweeds, Ecklonia radiata (E. radiata) is found abundantly along South Australian coastal regions; however it has not been explored for various biological activities relative to any component phlorotannins previously ascribed neuroprotective capacity. In the present study, we evaluated neuroprotective activity against the neurotoxic amyloid β protein (Aβ1–42) of an ethanol extract of E. radiata compared with various additional solvent-solubilised fractions in a neuronal PC-12 cell line. The ethyl acetate fraction comprising 62% phlorotannins demonstrated the most efficacious neuroprotective activity, inhibiting neurotoxicity at all Aβ1–42 concentrations. In addition, this fraction demonstrated a significant reduction in Aβ aggregate density, but did not alter overall aggregate morphology. Centrifugal partitioning chromatography was used to isolate the major component, eckol, in high yield and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry was used to characterize the major components of the ethyl acetate fraction. Our results demonstrate that the prevalence of eckol-type phlorotannins are associated with neuroprotective bioactivity of E. radiata, suggestive of potential nutraceutical and biopharmaceutical uses of this brown seaweed phlorotannin in dementia.