Background: Currently, natural products have built a well-recognized role in the management of many degenerative diseases, mainly rheumatoid arthritis. Recent studies suggest that Spirulina, a unicellular blue-green alga, may have a variety of health benefits and curative properties and is also competent of acting as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and recently anti-angiogenic agent. In the present study, the antioxidant and the immunomodulatory effect of Spirulina platensis as well as its anti-angiogenic effect against complete Freund's adjuvant-induced arthritis (AIA) in rat model were tested.
Results: We found that the development of arthritis was concealed; moreover it successfully inhibited the development of macroscopic as well as microscopic and histopathological lesions in AIA rats when compared to control. Spirulina treated group showed a higher survival rate and moreover, it reduced the clinical score of RA in a dose dependent manner. Furthermore, Spirulina decreased serum levels of COX-2, TNF-α, IL-6, TBARS, VEGF and increased serum levels of GSH compared to the RA non-treated group.
Conclusions: The present study concluded that Spirulina is able to restrain the changes produced through adjuvant-induced arthritis. The suppressing effect of Spirulina could be attributed, at least in part, to anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-angiogenic properties.