Inhibitory effects of dietary Spirulina platensis on UVB-induced skin inflammatory responses and carcinogenesis

J Invest Dermatol. 2014 Oct;134(10):2610-2619. doi: 10.1038/jid.2014.188. Epub 2014 Apr 14.


Reactive oxygen species produced in response to UVR are important in skin tumor development. We have previously reported that deficiency of the Ogg1 gene, encoding the repair enzyme for 8-oxo-7,8-dihydroguanine (8-oxoG), increases skin tumor incidence in mice upon repetitive UVB exposure and modulation of UVB-induced inflammatory response. Spirulina platensis is used as a human food supplement because it contains abundant nutritional and antioxidant components. Therefore, we investigated the inhibitory effects of S. platensis on UVB-induced skin tumor development in Ogg1 knockout-(KO) mice and the wild-type (WT) counterpart. Dietary S. platensis suppressed tumor induction and development in both genotypes compared with our previous data without S. platensis. Induction of erythema and ear swelling, one of the hallmarks of UVB-induced inflammatory responses, was suppressed in the skin of Ogg1-KO mice and albino hairless mice fed with dietary S. platensis. Compared with untreated mice, S. platensis-administered mice showed significantly reduced 8-oxoG formation in the skin after UVB exposure. Moreover, we found that S. platensis effectively downregulated the signal proteins p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase, stress-activated protein kinase/c-Jun N-terminal kinase, and extracellular signal-regulated kinase after UVB exposure especially in Ogg1-KO mice. Our results suggest that S. platensis exerts antitumor effects against UVB irradiation in the skin through its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA Glycosylases / deficiency
  • DNA Glycosylases / genetics
  • DNA Glycosylases / metabolism
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System / radiation effects
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Hairless
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 8 / metabolism
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / metabolism
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / pathology
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / prevention & control*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Radiodermatitis / metabolism
  • Radiodermatitis / pathology
  • Radiodermatitis / prevention & control*
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Skin / pathology
  • Skin / radiation effects
  • Skin Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology
  • Skin Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Spirulina*
  • Ultraviolet Rays*
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism


  • Plant Extracts
  • JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 8
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • DNA Glycosylases
  • Ogg1 protein, mouse