There has been increasing awareness to the potential interest of drug discovery from marine natural products to treat several pathological conditions, including inflammation. In this work we describe the anti-inflammatory activity of several compounds present in the echinoderm Marthasterias glacialis (spiny sea-star), using the inflammatory model RAW 264.7 cells challenged with LPS.
Lipidomic profiling of the organism revealed two major classes of compounds: fatty acids and sterols. Among these, the predominant compounds cis 11-eicosenoic and cis 11,14 eicosadienoic acids and the unsaturated sterol ergosta-7,22-dien-3-ol were evaluated.
The mechanism of action of the compounds was distinct as they modulated different levels of the inflammation pathway. Classical inflammatory markers such as COX-2, iNOS, IL-6 and NF-κB were evaluated. We also studied the contribution of the CHOP pathway-mediated ER-stress to the inflammatory process.
Overall, the sterol ergosta-7,22-dien-3-ol was the most active compound, however maximum activity was obtained when all compounds were tested in combination, thus suggesting a potentially synergistic activity of both classes of metabolites.
This work establishes the echinoderm M. glacialis as an interesting source of anti-inflammatory molecules.