Absorption, Pharmacokinetics, Tissue Distribution, and Excretion Profiles of Sea Cucumber-Derived Sulfated Sterols in Mice

Yue Li, Teng Wang, Hao Hao Shi, Yu Ming Wang, Chang Hu Xue, Qing Rong Huang, Tian Tian Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Sea cucumber-derived sulfated sterols exhibited more significant bioactivities compared to plant sterols due to the distinctive structure of the sulfate group at the C-3 position; however, their absorption, pharmacokinetics, tissue distribution, and excretion profiles are unknown, which limits the analysis of molecular mechanisms related to their unique activities. In this study, the absorption characteristics of sea cucumber sterols were determined by oral gavage administration, and their pharmacokinetics, excretion, and tissue distribution were studied by tail vein injection. The results showed that SS1 and SS2 reached the peak at 3 h (20.14 ± 1.2 μg/mL) and 4 h (13.32 ± 0.9 μg/mL) in serum, respectively, after oral gavage administration, suggesting the faster absorption rate of SS1 than SS2 due to the difference in the side-chain groups. Besides, lipid-containing food media improved the digestion and absorption rates of sea cucumber sterols. Moreover, SS1 exhibited a relatively longer duration of efficacy than SS2, and they were almost completely excreted within 9 h through urine. Additionally, sea cucumber sterols were found to be mainly accumulated in the liver (P < 0.05), followed by the kidney and spleen. These findings might provide a theoretical basis for the research and development of functional foods and nutraceuticals associated with sea cucumber sterols.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)480-487
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of agricultural and food chemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 19 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


  • absorption
  • excretion
  • pharmacokinetics
  • sulfated sterol
  • tissue distribution


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