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Pharm Biol. 2016 Aug;54(8):1408-12. doi: 10.3109/13880209.2015.1103756. Epub 2016 Jan 22.

Neuroprotective effect of Arthrospira (Spirulina) platensis against kainic acid-neuronal death.

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a Department of Pharmacy ;
c Department of Physiology, Escuela Superior De Medicina , Instituto Politécnico Nacional , México , DF , México.
b Department of Physiology , Escuela Nacional De Ciencias Biológicas, Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Unidad Profesional Adolfo López Mateos , México , DF , México ;


Context Arthrospira (Spirulina) platensis (SP) is a cyanobacterium which has attracted attention because of its nutritional value and pharmacological properties. It was previously reported that SP reduces oxidative stress in the hippocampus and protects against damaging neurobehavioural effects of systemic kainic acid (KA). It is widely known that the systemic administration of KA induces neuronal damage, specifically in the CA3 hippocampal region. Objective The present study determines if the SP sub-chronic treatment has neuroprotective properties against KA. Materials and methods Male SW mice were treated with SP during 24 d, at doses of 0, 200, and 800 mg/kg, once daily, and with KA (35 mg/kg, ip) as a single dose on day 14. After the treatment, a histological analysis was performed and the number of atrophic neuronal cells in CA3 hippocampal region was quantified. Results Pretreatment with SP does not protect against seizures induced by KA. However, mortality in the SP 200 and the SP 800 groups was of 20%, while for the KA group, it was of 60%. A single KA ip administration produced a considerable neuronal damage, whereas both doses of SP sub-chronic treatment reduced the number of atrophic neurons in CA3 hippocampal region with respect to the KA group. Discussion The SP neurobehaviour improvement after KA systemic administration correlates with the capacity of SP to reduce KA-neuronal death in CA3 hippocampal cells. This neuroprotection may be related to the antioxidant properties of SP. Conclusion SP reduces KA-neuronal death in CA3 hippocampal cells.


Antioxidant; cyanobacterium; hippocampus; neuroprotection

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