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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- sulfated sterol
- tissue distribution