Sarcocornia perennis pectic polysaccharides orally administered to mice: Holistic histological evaluation of xenobiotic protection


Sarcocornia perennis subsp. perennis is an edible halophyte with reported potential health benefits. To disclose the potential contribution of its polysaccharides to health benefits, in this work, hot water extracts were prepared and a holistic approach was performed, relating the simultaneous effects on different organs and molecular components administered orally, using the extract and the purified polysaccharides. The material rich in polysaccharides extracted with hot water was separated into two fractions by dialysis, allowing to obtain the pectic polysaccharides and the low molecular weight compounds. Oral administration of the extract and its fractions (120 mg/kg/day, 30 days) in mice was evaluated by histopathological analysis of liver, lymphoid (thymus and spleen) and reproductive organs (testis and epididymis). Extract and purified polysaccharides promoted a megakaryocytes increase in spleen, while low molecular weight compounds affected the reproductive organs (vacuolation and germ cells release in lumen), causing hydropic change in liver and degeneration of seminiferous tubules. This is the first study on polysaccharides from Sarcocornia. These pectic polysaccharides were shown to protect the immune and reproductive systems against toxic chemicals inducers of oxidation reactions. Their purification is a fundamental step, since the low molecular weight compounds of the edible parts may contribute to lesions in reproductive organs. (C) 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.



subject category

Biochemistry & Molecular Biology; Chemistry; Polymer Science


Oliveira, C; Pinte, J; Coelho, E; Silva, H; Coimbra, MA; Pereira, MD

our authors


This work was developed within the scope of the project CICECO-Aveiro Institute of Materials (UIDB/50011/2020 & UIDP/50011/2020), QOPNA research Unit (FCT UID/QUI/00062/2019), LAQV-REQUIMTE (UIDB/50006/2020) and CESAM (UID/AMB/50017/2019), financed by national funds through the FCT/MEC and when appropriate cofinanced by FEDER under the PT2020 Partnership Agreement; Elisabete Coelho (SFRH/BPD/70589/2010) also thanks the research contract funded by national funds (OE), through FCT, in the scope of the framework contract foreseen in the numbers 4, 5 and 6 of the article 23, of the Decree-Law57/2016, of August 29, changed by Law57/2017, of July 19. We are grateful to Sonia Oliveira, Daniela Ferreira, Manuel Ferreira, Elsa Dias, Aldiro Pereira and Rui Marques, for their relevant technical assistance.

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