Spirulina maxima pretreatment partially protects against 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine neurotoxicity

Nutr Neurosci. Oct-Dec 2006;9(5-6):207-12. doi: 10.1080/10284150600929748.


Spirulina is an alga that has a high nutritional value and some of its biological activities are attributed to the presence of antioxidants. Oxidative stress is involved in Parkinson's disease. This study aims at evaluating the neuroprotective role of Spirulina maxima (Sp.) against 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) neurotoxicity, used as a model of Parkinson's disease. Ninety-six male C-57 black mice were pretreated with Spirulina for 14 days (25, 50, 100, 150 or 200 mg/kg, oral), followed by three MPTP administrations (30 mg/kg, intraperitoneal, i.p.). Animals were given Sp. for 8 additional days. After the treatment, the striatal dopamine (DA) content was analysed by high performance liquid chromatography, and lipid peroxidation was studied as an index of oxidative stress. Sp. pretreatment at 150 mg/kg partially prevented (51%) the DA-depleting effect of MPTP and blocked oxidative stress. Spirulina partially prevents MPTP neurotoxicity and oxidative stress, suggesting it could be a possible alternative in experimental therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Dopamine / metabolism
  • Lipid Peroxidation
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Parkinsonian Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Serotonin / metabolism
  • Spirulina*
  • Triazines / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Triazines / toxicity*


  • Triazines
  • 1-methyl-3-phenyl-1,2,4-triazin-5-one
  • Serotonin
  • Dopamine