Antioxidant and moisture-retention activities of the polysaccharide from Nostoc commune

Haifeng Li, Juan Xu, Yongmei Liu*, Shibin Ai, Fen Qin, Zhangwei Li, Hanrui Zhang, Zebo Huang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


The main supporting matrix of the edible Nostoc commune colony is polysaccharide, which plays important roles in protecting the cyanobacterium itself from extreme desiccation and high radiation. To explore biomedical potential from the inherent nature of the polysaccharide, we investigated antioxidant and moisture-retention capacities of the polymer. We report here that the polysaccharide is capable of scavenging both superoxide anion and hydroxyl radicals in vitro. Using the model animal Caenorhabditis elegans, we further show that the polysaccharide can increase antioxidant enzyme activity, decrease lipid peroxidation level, and reduce paraquat-induced oxidative damage. We also reveal that the polysaccharide has strong in vitro moisture-absorption and -retention capacities as compared to chitosan and urea, and is able to improve water retention in mouse stratum corneum under dry conditions. Together, these data demonstrate the potent in vitro as well as in vivo antioxidant activities and strong moisture-retention capacities of the polysaccharide from N. commune.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCarbohydrate Polymers
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)1821-1827
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Antioxidant
  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Moisture absorption
  • Moisture retention
  • Nostoc commune
  • Polysaccharide


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