MEDICINAL BENEFITS OF SEA CUCUMBERS FROM THE WATERS OF THE EASTERN UNITED STATES
Sea cucumbers have been found to contain bioactive compounds such as saponin, fucoidan, frondoside, and glycosides that have pharmacological properties like antitumor, antibacterial, anti-inflammation, and antihyperglycemic activity. Although several species of sea cucumbers have been studied and reared for the food and medicinal industries, not much research has been conducted on the species in the waters of the Eastern United States. In this research, physiological and immunological parameters of coelomic fluid from Cucumaria frondosa, Isostychopus badionotus, and Pentacta pygmaea were compared to find the most promising candidate with these properties and pharmacological benefits. We found that C. frondosa was the species with the best immunological and physiological parameters among the three studied. C. frondosa illustrated that its coelomic fluid contains the highest concentrations of cells and lysozymes that had the highest activity. Using C. frondosa’s tissue extracts and coelomic fluid, the ability of the extracts and coelomic fluid to inhibit murine melanoma cells (B16-F10) and modulate T-lymphocytes in vitro were investigated. Although no significant differences were seen statistically, the experiments illustrated that T-lymphocytes were highly activated at higher concentrations (0.001g/uL-0.0002g/uL) for tissue extracts and at lower concentrations (0.000008g/uL) for coelomic fluid. On the other hand, melanoma cells were inhibited highest at lower concentrations (0.000008g/uL-0.0000016/uL). In addition to these studies, the antibacterial activity of C. frondosa extract was tested on ten pathogenic bacterial species. Antibacterial activity of the C. frondosa extract was not seen in this experiment. However, hemolytic activity by compounds present in C. frondosa extracts was seen in blood agars culturing Streptococcus pneumoniae and Enterococcus faecalis in our experiment. Lastly, an in vivo study was conducted to see if C. frondosa extract can modulate stress in Nile tilapia. In our experiment, we observed that C. frondosa extract was able to enhance the activity of one of the parameters, phagocytic capacity significantly. However, we are not able to conclude that C. frondosa extract was able to mitigate chronic stress from the results obtained. Overall, observing the results from the projects, we cannot conclude that C. frondosa extracts illustrated pharmacological properties. Extensive studies are recommended and required to use C. frondosa extract for medicinal purposes.
- Master of Science
- Biological Sciences
- Fort Wayne