Protection by dietary Spirulina platensis against D-galactosamine--and acetaminophen-induced liver injuries

Br J Nutr. 2010 Jun;103(11):1573-6. doi: 10.1017/S0007114509993758. Epub 2010 Jan 27.


Increasing attention has been paid to Spirulina for its potential clinical uses. The present study investigated the protection by dietary Spirulina platensis against d-galactosamine (d-GalN)- and acetaminophen (APAP)-induced hepatitis in ICR mice. Mice in each group (n 6) were fed with a standard diet (American Institute of Nutrition (AIN)-93G), a positive control diet containing 0.5 % butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), or a diet containing 3, 6 or 9 % S. platensis for 1 week. On the last day the mice were treated with d-GalN (300 mg/kg body weight, intraperitoneally) or APAP (150 mg/kg body weight, intraperitoneally) and 24 h later the mice were killed. The doses of both 6 and 9 % S. platensis were found to significantly alleviate the increase of serum glutamate oxaloacetoacetate transaminase (GOT) and glutamate pyruvate transaminase (GPT) activities in d-GalN- or APAP-intoxicated mice. The observation was very similar to that of the positive control groups. Two more experiments were carried out to investigate the involvement of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) and IL-18 in the suppression of 6 % S. platensis on d-GalN- and APAP-induced hepatitis. The significant increase of GOT and GPT activities was found to be accompanied with the elevation of hepatic TBARS level, IL-18 mRNA expression and serum IL-18 concentration, and was significantly alleviated by supplementation with 6 % S. platensis in diets. These results showed that dietary S. platensis could provide a significant protection against d-GalN- and APAP-induced liver injuries, and IL-18 and lipid peroxidation might be involved in the protective influence of S. platensis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetaminophen / administration & dosage
  • Acetaminophen / toxicity*
  • Alanine Transaminase / blood
  • Animals
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases / blood
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / blood
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / prevention & control*
  • Diet*
  • Galactosamine / administration & dosage
  • Galactosamine / toxicity*
  • Interleukin-18 / blood
  • Interleukin-18 / genetics
  • Liver / chemistry
  • Male
  • Malondialdehyde / analysis
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Spirulina*
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances / analysis


  • Interleukin-18
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances
  • Acetaminophen
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Galactosamine
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases
  • Alanine Transaminase