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Neural Regen Res. 2015 Feb;10(2):308-13. doi: 10.4103/1673-5374.152387.

Protective effects of a polysaccharide from Spirulina platensis on dopaminergic neurons in an MPTP-induced Parkinson's disease model in C57BL/6J mice.

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Department of Pharmacology, Medical College of Qingdao University, Qingdao, Shandong Province, China.
Department of Pharmacy, Xianyang Central Hospital, Xianyang, Shaanxi Province, China.
Department of Pharmacology, Taishan Medical College, Taian, Shandong Province, China.
Department of Physiology, Medical College of Qingdao University, Qingdao, Shandong Province, China.


The present study aimed to determine whether a polysaccharide obtained from Spirulina platensis shows protective effects on dopaminergic neurons. A Parkinson's disease model was established through the intraperitoneal injection of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) in C57BL/6J mice. Prior to the MPTP injection, some mice were pretreated with intraperitoneal injections of a polysaccharide derived from Spirulina platensis once daily for 10 days. The results showed that the immunoreactive staining and mRNA expression of the dopamine transporter and tyrosine hydroxylase, the rate-limiting enzyme in dopamine synthesis, in the substantia nigra, were significantly increased in mice pretreated with 800 mg/kg of the polysaccharide compared with those in MPTP-treated mice. The activities of superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase in the serum and midbrain were also increased significantly in mice injected with MPTP after pretreatment with the polysaccharide from Spirulina platensis. By contrast, the activity of monoamine oxidase B in serum and midbrain maintained unchanged. These experimental findings indicate that the polysaccharide obtained from Spirulina platensis plays a protective role against the MPTP-induced loss of dopaminergic neurons in C57BL/6J mice, and that the antioxidative properties of this polysaccharide likely underlie its neuroprotective effect.


MPTP; Parkinson's disease; antioxidation; dopaminergic neurons; nerve regeneration; neural regeneration; polysaccharide from Spirulina platensis

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