A Dietary Supplement Containing Fucoidan Preserves Endothelial Glycocalyx through ERK/MAPK Signaling and Protects against Damage Induced by CKD Serum

Manuel Regier, Carolin Christina Drost, Matthias Rauen, Hermann Pavenstädt, Alexandros Rovas, Philipp Kümpers, Hans Vink, Robert M. Long, Wolfgang A. Linke, Jerzy-Roch Nofer and Alexander-Henrik Lukasz
International Journal of Molecular Sciences


(1) Damage to the endothelial glycocalyx (eGC), a protective layer lining the endothelial luminal surface, is associated with chronic kidney disease (CKD), which leads to a worsening of cardiovascular outcomes in these patients. Currently, there are no targeted therapeutic approaches. Whether the dietary supplement EndocalyxTM (ECX) protects against endothelial damage caused by uremic toxins is unknown. (2) We addressed this question by performing atomic force microscopy measurements on living endothelial cells. We examined the effect of ECX on eGC thickness at baseline and with pooled serum from hemodialysis patients. ECX was also successfully administered in vivo in mice, in which eGC was assessed using perfused boundary region measurements by intravital microscopy of cremasteric vessels. (3) Both ECX and fucoidan significantly improved baseline eGC thickness. Our data indicate that these effects are dependent on ERK/MAPK and PI3K signaling. After incubation with eGC damaging serum from dialysis patients, ECX increased eGC height. Intravital microscopy in mice revealed a relevant increase in baseline eGC dimensions after feeding with ECX. (4) We identified a dietary supplement containing glycocalyx substrates and fucoidan as potential mediators of eGC preservation in vitro and in vivo. Our findings suggest that fucoidan may be an essential component responsible for protecting the eGC in acute settings. Moreover, ECX might contribute to both protection and rebuilding of the eGC in the context of CKD.