Regulatory Efficacy of Spirulina platensis Protease Hydrolyzate on Lipid Metabolism and Gut Microbiota in High-Fat Diet-Fed Rats

Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Dec 13;19(12):4023. doi: 10.3390/ijms19124023.


Lipid metabolism disorder (LMD) is a public health issue. Spirulina platensis is a widely used natural weight-reducing agent and Spirulina platensis is a kind of protein source. In the present study, we aimed to evaluate the effect of Spirulina platensis protease hydrolyzate (SPPH) on the lipid metabolism and gut microbiota in high-fat diet (HFD)-fed rats. Our study showed that SPPH decreased the levels of triglyceride (TG), total cholesterol (TC), low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-c), alanine transaminase (ALT), and aspartate transaminase (AST), but increased the level of high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-c) in serum and liver. Moreover, SPPH had a hypolipidemic effect as indicated by the down-regulation of sterol regulatory element-binding transcription factor-1c (SREBP-1c), acetyl CoA carboxylase (ACC), SREBP-1c, and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ) and the up-regulation of adenosine 5'-monophosphate (AMP)-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptorα (PPARα) at the mRNA level in liver. SPPH treatment enriched the abundance of beneficial bacteria. In conclusion, our study showed that SPPH might be produce glucose metabolic benefits in rats with diet-induced LMD. The mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of SPPH on the metabolism remain to be further investigated. Collectively, the above-mentioned findings illustrate that Spirulina platensis peptides have the potential to ameliorate lipid metabolic disorders, and our data provides evidence that SPPH might be used as an adjuvant therapy and functional food in obese and diabetic individuals.

Keywords: Spirulina platensis protease hydrolyzate; gene expression; gut microbiota; lipid metabolism disorder; peptides.

MeSH terms

  • Alanine Transaminase / blood
  • Alanine Transaminase / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases / blood
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases / metabolism
  • Diet, High-Fat / adverse effects*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / drug effects*
  • Lipid Metabolism / drug effects*
  • Lipoproteins, HDL / blood
  • Lipoproteins, HDL / metabolism
  • Liver / chemistry
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Male
  • Obesity / chemically induced
  • Obesity / metabolism*
  • Peptide Hydrolases / metabolism
  • Protein Hydrolysates / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Serum / chemistry
  • Spirulina / enzymology
  • Spirulina / metabolism*
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Triglycerides / metabolism


  • Lipoproteins, HDL
  • Protein Hydrolysates
  • Triglycerides
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases
  • Alanine Transaminase
  • Peptide Hydrolases