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SPIRULINA



Table of Contents


image Effects of structural modification of calcium spirulan, a sulfated polysaccharide from Spirulina platensis, on antiviral activity.
image Selective inhibition of cyclooxygenase-2 by C-phycocyanin, a biliprotein from Spirulina platensis.
image C-phycocyanin: a potent peroxyl radical scavenger in vivo and in vitro.
image [The postradiation use of vitamin-containing complexes and a phycocyanin extract in a radiation lesion in rats].
image Pseudovitamin B(12) is the predominant cobamide of an algal health food, spirulina tablets.
image Supplementary effect of spirulina on hematological status of rats during pregnancy and lactation.
image Modulation of lead toxicity by Spirulina fusiformis.
image Studies on the preventive effect of Spirulina maxima on fatty liver development induced by carbon tetrachloride, in the rat.
image Class specific influence of dietary Spirulina platensis on antibody production in mice.
image Modulatory potential of Spirulina fusiformis on carcinogen metabolizing enzymes in Swiss albino mice.
image Lactic acid bacteria growth promoters from Spirulina platensis.
image Inhibition of tumor invasion and metastasis by calcium spirulan (Ca-SP), a novel sulfated polysaccharide derived from a blue-green alga, Spirulina platensis.
image Antioxidant activity of the microalga Spirulina maxima.
image Hepatoprotective effect of C-phycocyanin: protection for carbon tetrachloride and R-(+)-pulegone-mediated hepatotoxicty in rats.
image Inhibitory effect of mast cell-mediated immediate-type allergic reactions in rats by spirulina.
image Inhibition of HIV-1 replication by an aqueous extract of Spirulina platensis (Arthrospira platensis).
image Spirulina maxima prevents induction of fatty liver by carbon tetrachloride in the rat.
image Spirulina platensis inhibits anaphylactic reaction.
image Effects of dietary Spirulina maxima on endothelium dependent vasomotor responses of rat aortic rings.
image A natural sulfated polysaccharide, calcium spirulan, isolated from Spirulina platensis: in vitro and ex vivo evaluation of anti-herpes simplex virus and anti-human immunodeficiency virus activities.
image Dietary Spirulina platensis enhances humoral and cell-mediated immune functions in chickens.
image Spirulina platensis exposure enhances macrophage phagocytic function in cats.
image Calcium spirulan, an inhibitor of enveloped virus replication, from a blue-green alga Spirulina platensis.
image Enhancement of antibody production in mice by dietary Spirulina platensis.

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Effects of structural modification of calcium spirulan, a sulfated polysaccharide from Spirulina platensis, on antiviral activity.

Lee JB, Srisomporn P, Hayashi K, Tanaka T, Sankawa U, Hayashi T Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Toyama Medical & Pharmaceutical University, Japan.
Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo) 2001 Jan;49(1):108-10

Calcium ion binding with the anionic part of a molecule was replaced with various metal cations and their inhibitory effects on the replication of herpes simplex virus type 1 were evaluated. Replacement of calcium ion with sodium and potassium ions maintained the antiviral activity while divalent and trivalent metal cations reduced the activity. Depolymerization of sodium spirulan with hydrogen peroxide decreased in antiviral activity as its molecular weight decreased.



Selective inhibition of cyclooxygenase-2 by C-phycocyanin, a biliprotein from Spirulina platensis.

Reddy CM, Bhat VB, Kiranmai G, Reddy MN, Reddanna P, Madyastha KM Department of Organic Chemistry, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, 560 012, India.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2000 Nov 2;277(3):599-603

We report data from two related assay systems (isolated enzyme assays and whole blood assays) that C-phycocyanin a biliprotein from Spirulina platensis is a selective inhibitor of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) with a very low IC(50) COX-2/IC(50) COX-1 ratio (0.04). The extent of inhibition depends on the period of preincubation of phycocyanin with COX-2, but without any effect on the period of preincubation with COX-1. The IC(50) value obtained for the inhibition of COX-2 by phycocyanin is much lower (180 nM) as compared to those of celecoxib (255 nM) and rofecoxib (401 nM), the well-known selective COX-2 inhibitors. In the human whole blood assay, phycocyanin very efficiently inhibited COX-2 with an IC(50) value of 80 nM. Reduced phycocyanin and phycocyanobilin, the chromophore of phycocyanin are poor inhibitors of COX-2 without COX-2 selectivity. This suggests that apoprotein in phycocyanin plays a key role in the selective inhibition of COX-2. The present study points out that the hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory, and anti-arthritic properties of phycocyanin reported in the literature may be due, in part, to its selective COX-2 inhibitory property, although its ability to efficiently scavenge free radicals and effectively inhibit lipid peroxidation may also be involved.



C-phycocyanin: a potent peroxyl radical scavenger in vivo and in vitro.

Bhat VB, Madyastha KM Department of Organic Chemistry, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, 560 012, India.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun
2000 Aug 18;275(1):20-5

C-Phycocyanin (from Spirulina platensis) effectively inhibited CCl(4)-induced lipid peroxidation in rat liver in vivo. Both native and reduced phycocyanin significantly inhibited peroxyl radical-induced lipid peroxidation in rat liver microsomes and the inhibition was concentration dependent with an IC(50) of 11.35 and 12.7 microM, respectively. The radical scavenging property of phycocyanin was established by studying its reactivity with peroxyl and hydroxyl radicals and also by competition kinetics of crocin bleaching. These studies have demonstrated that phycocyanin is a potent peroxyl radical scavenger with an IC(50) of 5.0 microM and the rate constant ratios obtained for phycocyanin and uric acid (a known peroxyl radical scavenger) were 1.54 and 3.5, respectively. These studies clearly suggest that the covalently linked chromophore, phycocyanobilin, is involved in the antioxidant and radical scavenging activity of phycocyanin.



[The postradiation use of vitamin-containing complexes and a phycocyanin extract in a radiation lesion in rats].

[Article in Russian] Karpov LM, Brown II, Poltavtseva NV, Ershova ON, Karakis SG, Vasil'eva TV, Chaban IL Mechnikov Odessa State University, Ukraina.
Radiats Biol Radioecol 2000 May-Jun;40(3):310-4

Wistar rats have been exposed to X-rays with a dose of 5 Gy. Significant decrease in dehydrogenase activity, energy-rich phosphate level and efficiency of antioxidant defence and significant increase in pyruvate amount were observed within 4 weeks. It was also found that the feeding of exposed rats with phycocyanin extract from blue-green algae Spirulina platensis lead to correcting effect. The same result was observed after injections of tocopherol or complex of six water-soluble vitamins. The combination of above mentioned compounds had more marked effect, especially at the presence unitiole and Na2Se.



Pseudovitamin B(12) is the predominant cobamide of an algal health food, spirulina tablets.

Watanabe F, Katsura H, Takenaka S, Fujita T, Abe K, Tamura Y, Nakatsuka T, Nakano Y Department of Health Science, Kochi Women's University, Kochi 780-8515, Japan. watanabe@cc.kochi-wu.ac.jp
J Agric Food Chem 1999 Nov;47(11):4736-41

The vitamin B(12) concentration of an algal health food, spirulina (Spirulina sp.) tablets, was determined by both Lactobacillus leichmannii ATCC 7830 microbiological and intrinsic factor chemiluminescence methods. The values determined with the microbiological method were approximately 6-9-fold greater in the spirulina tablets than the values determined with the chemiluminescence method. Although most of the vitamin B(12) determined with the microbiological method was derived from various vitamin B(12) substitutive compounds and/or inactive vitamin B(12) analogues, the spirulina contained a small amount of vitamin B(12) active in the binding of the intrinsic factor. Two intrinsic factor active vitamin B(12) analogues (major and minor) were purified from the spirulina tablets and partially characterized. The major (83%) and minor (17%) analogues were identified as pseudovitamin B(12) and vitamin B(12), respectively, as judged from data of TLC, reversed-phase HPLC, (1)H NMR spectroscopy, ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy, and biological activity using L. leichmannii as a test organism and the binding of vitamin B(12) to the intrinsic factor.



Supplementary effect of spirulina on hematological status of rats during pregnancy and lactation.

Kapoor R, Mehta U Department of Home Science, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh, India.
Plant Foods Hum Nutr 1998;52(4):315-24

The effect of Spirulina on iron status was assessed based on hemoglobin, packed cell volume, serum iron, total iron binding capacity and ferritin levels of rats during pregnancy and lactation. Rats were fed 5 different kinds of diets (casein, Spirulina, wheat gluten, Spirulina + wheat gluten, Spirulina without additional vitamins and minerals) each providing 22 percent protein. Diets containing Spirulina alone or in combination with wheat gluten resulted in significantly higher iron storage and hemoglobin contents than casein and wheat gluten diets during the first half of pregnancy and lactation. Wheat gluten diet result in the smallest increase in hemoglobin levels and iron stores compared to other diets. The values of serum iron and iron binding capacity remained unchanged with different diets. Spirulina appears to be effective in improving the iron status of rats during pregnancy and lactation.



Modulation of lead toxicity by Spirulina fusiformis.

Shastri D, Kumar M, Kumar A Department of Zoology, University of Rajasthan, India.
Phytother Res 1999 May;13(3):258-60

The modulatory effects of lead toxicity by Spirulina fusiformis (Oscillatoreaceae) were observed on the testes of Swiss albino mice at a dose of 800 mg/kg body weight. The Spirulina fusiformis was non-toxic at the dose given. A significant enhancement in the survival time was observed in the pre- and post-treated Spirulina group compared with the control (lead treated) group. Lead induced toxicity was also reduced in terms of testes weight, animal weight, tubular diameter in the pre Spirulina treated group. The modulatory effects of Spirulina may be attributed to the presence of the antioxidants, beta-carotene and SOD enzyme.



Studies on the preventive effect of Spirulina maxima on fatty liver development induced by carbon tetrachloride, in the rat.

Torres-Duran PV, Miranda-Zamora R, Paredes-Carbajal MC, Mascher D, Ble-Castillo J, Diaz-Zagoya JC, Juarez-Oropeza MA Department of Biochemistry, School of Medicine, UNAM, Mexico D.F., Mexico.
J Ethnopharmacol 1999 Feb;64(2):141-7

The aim of the present work was to assess if the feeding of either the oil extract of Spirulina maxima or of its defatted fraction would prevent fatty liver development, induced in rats by a single intraperitoneal dose of carbon tetrachloride (CCl4). Liver and serum lipids were evaluated 4 days after treatment with this agent. Concentration of liver lipids did not differ in rats fed on a purified diet either without or with one of the fractions of Spirulina, except for total cholesterol, which showed a slight increase in the group receiving the oil extract of Spirulina. However, after CCl4 treatment, liver total lipids and triacylglycerols were significantly lower in rats fed on a diet containing any fraction of Spirulina (defatted or the oil fraction) than in rats without Spirulina in their diet. Furthermore, the increased liver cholesterol values, induced by CCl4 treatment, were not observed in rats receiving Spirulina. In addition, rats receiving whole Spirulina in their diet and treated only with the vehicle showed an increase in the percentage of HDL values. The changes in VLDL and LDL induced by CCl4 treatment were not observed in the whole Spirulina group. Furthermore, after CCl4 treatment the values of the liver microsomal thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances were lower in the whole Spirulina group than in the control group. These results support the potential hepatoprotective role of Spirulina.



Class specific influence of dietary Spirulina platensis on antibody production in mice.

Hayashi O, Hirahashi T, Katoh T, Miyajima H, Hirano T, Okuwaki Y Department of Health and Nutrition, Kagawa Nutrition University, Sakado, Japan.
J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo) 1998 Dec;44(6):841-51

In the present study, we investigated antibody productions of IgA and other classes, such as IgE and IgG1, in mice as possible evidence of the protective effects of Spirulina toward food allergy and microbial infection. An increase of IgE antibody level in the serum was observed in the mice that were orally immunized with crude shrimp extract as an antigen (Ag group). The antibody level, however, was not further enhanced by treatment with Spirulina extract (SpHW). IgG1 antibody, on the other hand, which was increased by antigen administration, was further enhanced by Spirulina extract. It was noted that the IgA antibody level in the intestinal contents was significantly enhanced by treatment with Spirulina extract concurrently ingested with shrimp antigen, in comparison with that of the Ag group treated with shrimp antigen alone. An enhancement of IgA antibody production by Spirulina extract was also observed in culture supernatant of lymphoid cells, especially in the spleen and mesenteric lymph node from mice treated with Spirulina extract for 4 weeks before antigen stimulation. These results suggest that Spirulina may at least neither induce nor enhance allergic reaction such as food allergy dependent on an IgE antibody, and that when ingested both concurrently with antigen and before antigen stimulation, it may significantly enhance the IgA antibody level to protect against allergic reaction.



Modulatory potential of Spirulina fusiformis on carcinogen metabolizing enzymes in Swiss albino mice.

Mittal A, Kumar PV, Banerjee S, Rao AR, Kumar A Department of Zoology, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, India.
Phytother Res 1999 Mar;13(2):111-4

The modulatory potential of Spirulina fusiformis was observed on the hepatic and extrahepatic carcinogen metabolizing enzymes in Swiss albino mice at a dose of 800 mg/kg b.w. given orally. A significant reduction in the hepatic cytochrome P-450 content was observed in the group treated with Spirulina in comparison with the control group. The hepatic glutathione S-transferase activity was induced significantly by Spirulina treatment. There was no change in the extrahepatic glutathione S-transferase activity after the animals were fed with Spirulina.



Lactic acid bacteria growth promoters from Spirulina platensis.

Parada JL, Zulpa de Caire G, Zaccaro de Mule MC, Storni de Cano MM Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Ciudad Universitaria, Pab. II, Argentina.
Int J Food Microbiol 1998 Dec 22;45(3):225-8

Spirulina has been used for many years as human food because of its high protein content and nutritional value. Some strains also produce bioactive substances that may inhibit or promote microbial growth. Lactococcus lactis, Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and Lactobacillus bulgaricus were grown in rich media, MRS and RM, as well as in minimal saline medium with and without addition of extracellular products obtained from a late log phase culture of Spirulina platensis in Zarrouk medium. In both MRS and RM media, the extracellular products significantly promote the growth of the lactic acid bacteria assayed. This stimulatory effect was observed in media with pH adjusted to 5.3, 6.3 and 7.0. No effect was observed in minimal saline medium.



Inhibition of tumor invasion and metastasis by calcium spirulan (Ca-SP), a novel sulfated polysaccharide derived from a blue-green alga, Spirulina platensis.

Mishima T, Murata J, Toyoshima M, Fujii H, Nakajima M, Hayashi T, Kato T, Saiki I Research Institute for Wakan-Yaku, Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University, Japan.
Clin Exp Metastasis 1998 Aug;16(6):541-50

We have investigated the effect of calcium spirulan (Ca-SP) isolated from a blue-green alga, Spirulina platensis, which is a sulfated polysaccharide chelating calcium and mainly composed of rhamnose, on invasion of B16-BL6 melanoma, Colon 26 M3.1 carcinoma and HT-1080 fibrosarcoma cells through reconstituted basement membrane (Matrigel). Ca-SP significantly inhibited the invasion of these tumor cells through Matrigel/fibronectin-coated filters. Ca-SP also inhibited the haptotactic migration of tumor cells to laminin, but it had no effect on that to fibronectin. Ca-SP prevented the adhesion of B16-BL6 cells to Matrigel and laminin substrates but did not affect the adhesion to fibronectin. The pretreatment of tumor cells with Ca-SP inhibited the adhesion to laminin, while the pretreatment of laminin substrates did not. Ca-SP had no effect on the production and activation of type IV collagenase in gelatin zymography. In contrast, Ca-SP significantly inhibited degradation of heparan sulfate by purified heparanase. The experimental lung metastasis was significantly reduced by co-injection of B16-BL6 cells with Ca-SP. Seven intermittent i.v. injections of 100 microg of Ca-SP caused a marked decrease of lung tumor colonization of B16-BL6 cells in a spontaneous lung metastasis model. These results suggest that Ca-SP, a novel sulfated polysaccharide, could reduce the lung metastasis of B16-BL6 melanoma cells, by inhibiting the tumor invasion of basement membrane probably through the prevention of the adhesion and migration of tumor cells to laminin substrate and of the heparanase activity.



Antioxidant activity of the microalga Spirulina maxima.

Miranda MS, Cintra RG, Barros SB, Mancini Filho J Faculdade de Farmacia e Bioquimica, Universidade Federal da Bahia, Salvador, Brasil.
Braz J Med Biol Res 1998 Aug;31(8):1075-9

Spirulina maxima, which is used as a food additive, is a microalga rich in protein and other essential nutrients. Spirulina contains phenolic acids, tocopherols and beta-carotene which are known to exhibit antioxidant properties. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the antioxidant capacity of a Spirulina extract. The antioxidant activity of a methanolic extract of Spirulina was determined in vitro and in vivo. The in vitro antioxidant capacity was tested on a brain homogenate incubated with and without the extract at 37 degrees C. The IC50 (concentration which causes a 50% reduction of oxidation) of the extract in this system was 0.18 mg/ml. The in vivo antioxidant capacity was evaluated in plasma and liver of animals receiving a daily dose of 5 mg for 2 and 7 weeks. Plasma antioxidant capacity was measured in brain homogenate incubated for 1 h at 37 degrees C. The production of oxidized compounds in liver after 2 h of incubation at 37 degrees C was measured in terms of thiobarbituric acid reactant substances (TBARS) in control and experimental groups. Upon treatment, the antioxidant capacity of plasma was 71% for the experimental group and 54% for the control group. Data from liver spontaneous peroxidation studies were not significantly different between groups. The amounts of phenolic acids, alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene were determined in Spirulina extracts. The results obtained indicate that Spirulina provides some antioxidant protection for both in vitro and in vivo systems.



Hepatoprotective effect of C-phycocyanin: protection for carbon tetrachloride and R-(+)-pulegone-mediated hepatotoxicty in rats.

Vadiraja BB, Gaikwad NW, Madyastha KM Department of Organic Chemistry, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, 560 012, India.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun 1998 Aug 19;249(2):428-31

Effect of C-phycocyanin (from Spirulina platensis) pretreatment on carbontetrachloride and R-(+)-pulegone-induced hepatotoxicity in rats was studied. Intraperitoneal (i.p.) administration (200 mg/kg) of a single dose of phycocyanin to rats, one or three hours prior to R-(+)-pulegone (250 mg/kg) or carbontetrachloride (0.6 ml/kg) challenge, significantly reduced the hepatotoxicity caused by these chemicals. For instance, serum glutamate pyruvate transaminase (SGPT) activity was almost equal to control values. The losses of microsomal cytochrome P450, glucose-6-phosphatase and aminopyrine-N-demethylase were significantly reduced, suggesting that phycocyanin provides protection to liver enzymes. It was noticed that the level of menthofuran, the proximate toxin of R-(+)-pulegone was nearly 70% more in the urine samples collected from rats treated with R-(+)-pulegone alone than rats treated with the combination of phycocyanin and R-(+)-pulegone. The possible mechanism involved in the hepatoprotection is discussed.



Inhibitory effect of mast cell-mediated immediate-type allergic reactions in rats by spirulina.

Kim HM, Lee EH, Cho HH, Moon YH Department of Oriental Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, Wonkwang University, Iksan, Chonbuk, South Korea. hmkim@med.wonkwang.ac.kr
Biochem Pharmacol 1998 Apr 1;55(7):1071-6

We investigated the effect of spirulina on mast cell-mediated immediate-type allergic reactions. Spirulina dose-dependently inhibited the systemic allergic reaction induced by compound 48/80 in rats. Spirulina inhibited compound 48/80-induced allergic reaction 100% with doses of 100-1000 microg/g body weight, i.p. Spirulina (10-1000 microg/g body weight, i.p.) also significantly inhibited local allergic reaction activated by anti-dinitrophenyl (DNP) IgE. When rats were pretreated with spirulina at a concentration ranging from 0.01 to 1000 microg/g body weight, i.p., the serum histamine levels were reduced in a dose-dependent manner. Spirulina (0.001 to 10 microg/mL) dose-dependently inhibited histamine release from rat peritoneal mast cells (RPMC) activated by compound 48/80 or anti-DNP IgE. The level of cyclic AMP in RPMC, when spirulina (10 microg/mL) was added, transiently and significantly increased about 70-fold at 10 sec compared with that of control cells. Moreover, spirulina (10 microg/mL) had a significant inhibitory effect on anti-DNP IgE-induced tumor necrosis factor-alpha production. These results indicate that spirulina inhibits mast cell-mediated immediate-type allergic reactions in vivo and in vitro.



Inhibition of HIV-1 replication by an aqueous extract of Spirulina platensis (Arthrospira platensis).

Ayehunie S, Belay A, Baba TW, Ruprecht RM Laboratory of Viral Pathogenesis, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.
J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr Hum Retrovirol 1998 May 1;18(1):7-12

An aqueous extract of the blue-green filamentous algae Arthrospira platensis (previously called Spirulina platensis) inhibited HIV-1 replication in human T-cell lines, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), and Langerhans cells (LC). Extract concentrations ranging between 0.3 and 1.2 microg/ml reduced viral production by approximately 50% (50% effective concentration [EC50]) in PBMCs. The 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) of extract for PBMC growth ranged between 0.8 and 3.1 mg/ml. Depending on the cell type used, therapeutic indices ranged between 200 and 6000. The extract inactivated HIV-1 infectivity directly when preincubated with virus before addition to human T-cell lines. Fractionation of the extract revealed antiviral activity in the polysaccharide fraction and also in a fraction depleted of polysaccharides and tannins. We conclude that aqueous A platensis extracts contain antiretroviral activity that may be of potential clinical interest.



Spirulina maxima prevents induction of fatty liver by carbon tetrachloride in the rat.

Torres-Duran PV, Miranda-Zamora R, Paredes-Carbajal MC, Mascher D, Diaz-Zagoya JC, Juarez-Oropeza MA Departamento de Bioquimica, UNAM, Mexico, D.F., Mexico.
Biochem Mol Biol Int 1998 Apr;44(4):787-93

The aim of the present work was to assess the capacity of Spirulina maxima to prevent fatty liver development induced in rats by an intraperitoneal single dose (1 ml/kg) of carbon tetrachloride. Liver and serum lipids were quantified two or four days after treatment with this agent. Liver lipid concentration did not differ in rats fed on a purified diet with or without Spirulina. However, after carbon tetrachloride treatment, liver triacylglycerols were significantly lower in rats fed on a diet with Spirulina 5% than in rats without Spirulina in their diet (P < 0.05). Furthermore, the increased liver cholesterol values, induced by carbon tetrachloride treatment, were not observed in rats that received Spirulina. These results support the potential hepatoprotective role of Spirulina.



Spirulina platensis inhibits anaphylactic reaction.

Yang HN, Lee EH, Kim HM Department of Oriental Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, Wonkwang University, Ikasn, Chonbuk, South Korea.
Life Sci 1997;61(13):1237-44

We investigated the effects of the powders of Spirulina platensis (SPP) on anaphylactic reactions. SPP inhibited compound 48/80-induced anaphylactic shock 100% with doses of 0.5, and 1.0 mg/g body weight (BW). SPP significantly inhibited serum histamine levels induced by compound 48/80 in rats. SPP (0.5 mg/g BW) inhibited to 68.7% passive cutaneous anaphylaxis activated by anti-dinitrophenyl (DNP) IgE. SPP dose-dependently inhibited the histamine release from the rat peritoneal mast cells (RPMC) by compound 48/80. Moreover, SPP had a significant effect on anti-DNP IgE-induced histamine release or tumor necrosis factor-alpha production from RPMC. These results suggest that SPP may contain compounds with actions that inhibit mast cell degranulation in the rat.



Effects of dietary Spirulina maxima on endothelium dependent vasomotor responses of rat aortic rings.

Paredes-Carbajal MC, Torres-Duran PV, Diaz-Zagoya JC, Mascher D, Juarez-Oropeza MA Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, UNAM, Mexico D.F., Mexico. majo@servidor.unam.mx
Life Sci 1997;61(15):PL 211-9

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of Spirulina maxima on vasomotor responses of aorta rings from male Wistar rats fed on a purified diet. For this purpose, the animals (weighing 200-240 g) were allocated randomly in two groups. One receiving purified control diet (A) and the other receiving purified diet containing 5% Spirulina (B). Purified diets were according to American Institute of Nutrition guidelines and adjusted to Spirulina protein content. All animals were fed (20 g/day/rat) during two weeks, receiving water ad libitum and 12 h. light-dark cycles. Spirulina maxima effects were evaluated by concentration-response (CR) curves of aorta rings with or without endothelium to phenylephrine (PE), both in presence and absence of indomethacin (Indom) or indomethacin plus L-NAME (Indom. + L-NAME), and to carbachol (CCh). Aorta rings with endothelium from group B showed, relative to corresponding rings from group A: 1) a significant decrease in the maximal tension developed in response to PE. 2) this decrease was reverted by Indom. 3) Indom. + L-NAME induced an additional increase in the contractile responses to PE. 4) a significant shift to the left of the CR curve to CCh. No significant differences were observed in the tension developed in response to PE in rings without endothelium from either group. These results suggest that Spirulina maxima may decrease vascular tone by increasing the synthesis and release of both a vasodilating cyclooxygenase-dependent product of arachidonic acid and nitric oxide, as well as by decreasing the synthesis and release of a vasoconstricting eicosanoid from the endothelial cells.



A natural sulfated polysaccharide, calcium spirulan, isolated from Spirulina platensis: in vitro and ex vivo evaluation of anti-herpes simplex virus and anti-human immunodeficiency virus activities.

Hayashi K, Hayashi T, Kojima I Department of Virology, Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University, Japan.
AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses 1996 Oct 10;12(15):1463-71

A sulfated polysaccharide named calcium spirulan (Ca-SP) has been isolated from a sea alga, Spirulina platensis, as an antiviral component. The anti-human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and anti-herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) activities of Ca-SP were compared with those of dextran sulfate (DS) as a representative sulfated polysaccharide. Anti-HIV-1 activities of these agents were measured by three different assays: viability of acutely infected CD4-positive cells, or a cytopathology assay; determination of HIV-1 p24 antigen released into culture supernatants; and inhibition of HIV-induced syncytium formation. Anti-HSV-1 activity was assessed by plaque yield reduction. In addition, their effects on the blood coagulation processes and stability in the blood were evaluated. These data indicate that Ca-SP is a potent antiviral agent against both HIV-1 and HSV-1. Furthermore, Ca-SP is quite promising as an anti-HIV agent because even at low concentrations of Ca-SP an enhancement of virus-induced syncytium formation was not observed, as was observed in DS-treated cultures, Ca-SP had very low anticoagulant activity, and showed a much longer half-life in the blood of mice when compared with that of DS. Thus, Ca-SP can be a candidate agent for an anti-HIV therapeutic drug that might overcome the disadvantages observed in many sulfated polysaccharides. When the role of chelation of calcium ion with sulfate groups was examined by removing calcium or its replacement by sodium, the presence of calcium ion in the molecule was shown to be essential for the dose-dependent inhibition of cytopathic effect and syncytium formation induced by HIV-1.



Dietary Spirulina platensis enhances humoral and cell-mediated immune functions in chickens.

Qureshi MA, Garlich JD, Kidd MT Department of Poultry Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh 27695-7608, USA.
Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol 1996 Aug;18(3):465-76

Cornell K-strain White Leghorns and broiler chicks were raised to 7 wks and 3 wks of age respectively, with diets containing various levels (0, 10, 100, 1,000 and 10,000 ppm) of Spirulina platensis from day of hatch. Chicks in all treatment groups had comparable body weights. While bursal and splenic weights did not change, the K-strain chicks had larger thymuses (P < or = .05) over the controls (0 ppm group). No differences were observed in anti-sheep red blood cells antibodies during primary response. However, during secondary response, K-strain chicks in all Spirulina-dietary groups had higher total anti-SRBC titers with 10,000 ppm group being the highest (6.8 Log2) versus the 0 ppm (5.5 Log2) group. In broiler chicks, a one Log increase in IgG (P < or = .05) was observed in 10,000 ppm group over the controls. Similarly, chicks in 10,000 ppm Spirulina group had a higher PHA-P-mediated lymphoproliferative response over the 0 ppm controls. Macrophages isolated from both K-strain (10,000 ppm group) and broilers from all Spirulina groups had higher phagocytic potential than the 0 ppm groups. Spirulina supplementation at 10,000 ppm level also increased NK-cell activity by two fold over the controls. These studies show that Spirulina supplementation increases several immunological functions implying that a dietary inclusion of Spirulina at a level of 10,000 ppm may enhance disease resistance potential in chickens.



Spirulina platensis exposure enhances macrophage phagocytic function in cats.

Qureshi MA, Ali RA Department of Poultry Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh 27695-7608, USA.
Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol 1996 Aug;18(3):457-63

Bronchoalveolar lavage macrophages isolated from cats were cultured on glass coverslips. Macrophages were exposed to a water-soluble extract of Spirulina platensis in concentration range of 0 to 60 micrograms per mL for two hours. Spirulina-extract exposure did not cause significant macrophage cytotoxicity over untreated control cultures. Macrophage monolayers from treated and control cultures were incubated with sheep red blood cells (SRBC) as well as viable Escherichia coli. The percentages of phagocytic macrophages for both of these particulate antigens were higher (a two-fold increase in SRBC phagocytosis and over 10% increase in Escherichia coli uptake) in cultures treated with various concentrations of Spirulina-extract. However, the numbers of either types of particles internalized by phagocytic macrophage were not different between the control and treated cultures. These data which showed that Spirulina platensis extract enhances macrophage phagocytic function imply that dietary Spirulina supplementation may improve the disease resistance potential in cats.



Calcium spirulan, an inhibitor of enveloped virus replication, from a blue-green alga Spirulina platensis.

Hayashi T, Hayashi K, Maeda M, Kojima I Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences and School of Medicine, Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University, Toyama, Japan.
J Nat Prod 1996 Jan;59(1):83-7

Bioactivity-directed fractionation of a hot H2O extract from a blue-green alga Spirulina platensis led to the isolation of a novel sulfated polysaccharide named calcium spirulan (Ca-SP) as an antiviral principle. This polysaccharide was composed of rhamnose, ribose, mannose, fructose, galactose, xylose, glucose, glucuronic acid, galacturonic acid, sulfate, and calcium. Ca-SP was found to inhibit the replication of several enveloped viruses, including Herpes simplex virus type 1, human cytomegalovirus, measles virus, mumps virus, influenza A virus, and HIV-1. It was revealed that Ca-SP selectively inhibited the penetration of virus into host cells. Retention of molecular conformation by chelation of calcium ion with sulfate groups was suggested to be indispensable to its antiviral effect.



Enhancement of antibody production in mice by dietary Spirulina platensis.

Hayashi O, Katoh T, Okuwaki Y Department of Health and Nutrition, Kagawa Nutrition University, Sakado, Japan.
J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo) 1994 Oct;40(5):431-41

Mice fed a Spirulina platensis diet showed increased numbers of splenic antibody-producing cells in the primary immune response to sheep red blood cells (SRBC). However, immunoglobulin G (IgG)-antibody production in the secondary immune response was hardly affected. The percentage of phagocytic cells in peritoneal macrophages from the mice fed S. platensis diet, as well as the proliferation of spleen cells by either concanavalin A (Con A) or phytohemagglutinin (PHA) was significantly increased. Addition of a hot-water extract of S. platensis (SHW) to an in vitro culture of spleen cells markedly increased proliferation of these cells, whereas culture of thymus cells was scarcely affected. The Spirulina extract also significantly enhanced interleukin-1 (IL-1) production from peritoneal macrophages. Addition to the in vitro spleen cell culture of SHW as well as the supernatant of macrophages stimulated with SHW resulted in enhancement of antibody production, that is, an increase of the number of PFC. These results suggest that Spirulina enhances the immune response, particularly the primary response, by stimulating macrophage functions, phagocytosis, and IL-1 production.