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J Sci Food Agric. 2013 Sep;93(12):3133-6. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.6114. Epub 2013 Apr 5.

Inhibitory effect of unicellular green algae (Chlorella vulgaris) water extract on allergic immune response.

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Division of Metabolism and Functionality Research, Korea Food Research Institute, 1201-62, Anyangpangyo-ro, Bundang-gu, Seognam-si, Kyeonggi-do, 463-746, Republic of Korea.



Chlorella is used as a functional food in East Asia and has been shown to enhance immune system function. However, there has been no direct evidence of the suppressive effect of a hot water extract of Chlorella vulgaris (CVE) on histamine-mediated allergic responses.


The antihistamine activity of CVE was analysed using rat peritoneal mast cells (RPMCs) stimulated by compound 48/80. For in vivo verification, ovalbumin (OVA)-immunised BALB/c mice were treated with CVE orally. Serum immunoglobulin E (IgE) levels and splenocyte cytokine levels were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). CVE prevented histamine release through degranulation of mast cells by blocking the uptake of extracellular Ca²⁺ into RPMCs. Moreover, CVE administration inhibited serum IgE overproduction by OVA via induction of T helper 1 (Th1) skewing that was dependent on interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and interleukin 12 (IL-12) secretion.


The results of this study clearly demonstrate that CVE acts as an antiallergic dietary agent by suppressing histamine release via its enhancive effect on Th1-related responses.


Chlorella vulgaris water extract (CVE); IgE; Th1; histamine; mast cells

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