Comparison between the effects of alcohol and hexane extract of spirulina in arsenic removal from isolated tissues

Mymensingh Med J. 2010 Jan;19(1):27-31.


Chronic arsenic poisoning (arsenicosis) is a major public health problem in Bangladesh. People are consuming high concentration of arsenic (>10 ppb) through their drinking water. But still now, there is no specific treatment of it. Spirulina, natural bluish-green microalgae, is found to be effective in the treatment of arsenicosis recently. Keeping this fact in mind the present study was conducted in the Department of Pharmacology, BSMMU to compare the effectiveness of alcohol & Hexane extract of Spirulina in arsenic removal from isolated tissues (rat liver). The experiment was performed in two phases-in phase I, liver tissues incubated with arsenic at 37 degree centigrade at different incubation period & accumulation of arsenic was measured. In phase II, arsenic-loaded liver tissues were incubated at 37 degree centigrade in presence and absence of alcohol extract & hexane extract of spirulina. Arsenic removal (%) from liver tissues by alcohol extract and hexane extract of spirulina was estimated by Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer. This study showed that there is time dependent accumulation of arsenic in isolated liver tissue and highest accumulation found was 0.69 microg/g tissues after 45 minutes incubation, which was highly significant. Removal of arsenic (%) from arsenic loaded liver tissues by alcohol extract & hexane extracts were 33.8% & 83.0% respectively. Between the two extracts of spirulina the hexane extract causes more percentage removal of arsenic which is highly significant (p<0.001). So, the present study suggests hexane extract of spirulina is more effective in removal of arsenic from rat liver tissues than alcohol extract.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arsenic / pharmacokinetics*
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Protein Binding
  • Rats
  • Rats, Long-Evans
  • Spirulina / physiology*
  • Tissue Culture Techniques
  • Tissue Extracts / metabolism


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Tissue Extracts
  • Arsenic