Preventive effects of Chlorella on cognitive decline in age-dependent dementia model mice

Neurosci Lett. 2009 Oct 30;464(3):193-8. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2009.08.044. Epub 2009 Aug 21.


Oxidative stress is one of the major causes of age-dependent memory loss and cognitive decline. Cytotoxic aldehydes are derived from lipid peroxides and their accumulation may be responsible for age-dependent neurodegeneration, including Alzheimer's disease. Since aldehyde dehydrogenases detoxify such aldehydes, we constructed transgenic mice with mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) activity deficiency (DAL101 mice) as an age-dependent dementia model. This model animal is age-dependently progressed by persistent oxidative stress, and thus enables us to investigate foods that prevent dementia. Since Chlorella, a kind of alga, exhibits various anti-oxidative effects, we investigated whether Chlorella has the potential to prevent age-dependent cognitive impairment. We fed Chlorella to DAL101 mice and investigated its effects on oxidative stress and the progression of cognitive decline using the Morris water-maze and object recognition tests. The diet with Chlorella tended to reduce oxidative stress and significantly prevented the decline of cognitive ability, as shown by both methods. Moreover, consumption of Chlorella decreased the number of activated astrocytes in the DAL101 brain. These findings suggest that the prolonged consumption of Chlorella has the potential to prevent the progression of cognitive impairment.

MeSH terms

  • Aging*
  • Aldehyde Dehydrogenase / genetics
  • Aldehyde Dehydrogenase, Mitochondrial
  • Animals
  • Astrocytes / pathology
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Cell Count
  • Chlorella*
  • Cognition Disorders / metabolism
  • Cognition Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Cognition Disorders / psychology
  • Dementia / metabolism
  • Dementia / prevention & control*
  • Dementia / psychology
  • Diet
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Male
  • Maze Learning
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Recognition, Psychology
  • Space Perception


  • ALDH2 protein, mouse
  • Aldehyde Dehydrogenase
  • Aldehyde Dehydrogenase, Mitochondrial