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Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 2015 Jan;175(2):892-901. doi: 10.1007/s12010-014-1300-9. Epub 2014 Oct 28.

Spirulina non-protein components induce BDNF gene transcription via HO-1 activity in C6 glioma cells.

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Laboratory of Neuropharmacology, Department of Nursing, Shikoku University School of Health Sciences, Furukawa, Ohjin, Tokushima, 771-1192, Japan,


Blue-green algae are known to contain biologically active proteins and non-protein substances and considered as useful materials for manufacturing the nutritional supplements. Particularly, Spirulina has been reported to contain a variety of antioxidants, such as flavonoids, carotenoids, and vitamin C, thereby exerting their protective effects against the oxidative damage to the cells. In addition to their antioxidant actions, polyphenolic compounds have been speculated to cause the protection of neuronal cells and the recovery of neurologic function in the brain through the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in glial cells. Then, the protein-deprived extract was prepared by removing the most part of protein components from aqueous extract of Spirulina platensis, and the effect of this extract on BDNF gene transcription was examined in C6 glioma cells. Consequently, the protein-deprived extract was shown to cause the elevation of BDNF mRNA levels following the expression of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) in the glioma cells. Therefore, the non-protein components of S. platensis are considered to stimulate BDNF gene transcription through the HO-1 induction in glial cells, thus proposing a potential ability of the algae to indirectly modulate the brain function through the glial cell activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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