Hepatoprotective efficacy of Spirulina platensis against lead-induced oxidative stress and genotoxicity in catfish; Clarias gariepinus

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2017 Sep;143:344-350. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2017.05.013. Epub 2017 May 27.


Lead (Pb) is a toxic environmental pollutant that induces a broad range of biochemical and physiological hazards in living organisms. We investigated the possible hepatoprotective effects of Spirulina platensis (SP) in counteracting the Pb-induced oxidative damage. Ninety-six adult African catfish were allocated into four equal groups. The 1st group (control) fed basal diet while the 2nd group (Pb-treated) fed on basal diet and exposed to 1mg Pb(NO3)2/L. The 3rd and 4th groups fed SP-supplemented basal diets at levels of 0.25% and 0.5%, respectively and exposed to Pb. Serum samples were used to analyze hepatic function biomarkers, electrolytes, and oxidant and antioxidant status. Lipid peroxidation and DNA fragmentation were determined in the liver tissues. Pb exposure induced hepatic dysfunction, electrolytes (Na+, K+, Ca+2, and Cl-) imbalance, as well a significant decrease in GSH content, and LDH, AChE, SOD, CAT and GST enzymes activity. SP supplementation reverted these biochemical and genetic alterations close to control levels. This amelioration was higher with 0.5% SP and at the 4th week of exposure, showing concentration- and time-dependency. Thus, the current study suggests that SP could protect the catfish liver against lead-induced injury by scavenging ROS, sustaining the antioxidant status and diminishing DNA oxidative damage. The dietary inclusion of SP can be used as a promising protective agent to counteract oxidative stress-mediated diseases and toxicities.

Keywords: DNA fragmentation; Electrolytes; Hepatotoxicity; Lead; Oxidative stress; Spirulina platensis.

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Catfishes / blood
  • Catfishes / growth & development
  • Catfishes / metabolism*
  • DNA Damage* / drug effects
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Lead / metabolism
  • Lead / toxicity*
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Liver / drug effects*
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Protective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Spirulina* / chemistry
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / metabolism
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / toxicity*


  • Antioxidants
  • Biomarkers
  • Protective Agents
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Lead