Antioxidant and angiostatic effect of Spirulina platensis suspension in complete Freund's adjuvant-induced arthritis in rats

PLoS One. 2015 Apr 8;10(4):e0121523. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0121523. eCollection 2015.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / pharmacokinetics
  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacokinetics
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Arthritis, Experimental / blood
  • Arthritis, Experimental / chemically induced
  • Arthritis, Experimental / drug therapy*
  • Biological Availability
  • Freund's Adjuvant / adverse effects*
  • Immunomodulation / drug effects
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Spirulina / physiology*
  • Suspensions
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / blood
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / blood


  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Antioxidants
  • Interleukin-6
  • Suspensions
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Freund's Adjuvant

Grant support

The authors have no support or funding to report.