Journal of agricultural and food chemistry

Structural, thermal, and anti-inflammatory properties of a novel pectic polysaccharide from alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) stem.

PMID 25756601


A pectic polysaccharide (APPS) was purified from the cold alkali extract of alfalfa stem and characterized to be a rhamnogalacturonan I (RG-I) type pectin with the molecular weight of 2.38 × 10(3) kDa and a radius of 123 nm. The primary structural analysis indicated that APPS composed of a →2)-α-l-Rhap-(1→4)-α-d-GalpA-(1→ backbone with 12% branching point at C-4 of Rhap forming side chains by l-arabinosyl and d-galactosyl oligosaccharide units. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis revealed a primary linear-shaped structure with a few branches in its assembly microstructures. The thermal decomposition evaluation revealed the stability of APPS with an apparent activation energy (Ea) of 226.5 kJ/mol and a pre-exponential factor (A) of 2.10 × 10(25)/s, whereas its primary degradation occurred in the temperature range from 215.6 to 328.0 °C. In addition, APPS showed significant anti-inflammatory effect against mRNA expressions of the pro-inflammatory cytokine genes, especially for IL-1β, suggesting its potential utilization in functional foods and dietary supplement products.