Protective effects of spirulina against hemato-biochemical alterations, nephrotoxicity, and DNA damage upon lead exposition

Hum Exp Toxicol. 2020 Jun;39(6):855-869. doi: 10.1177/0960327120903490. Epub 2020 Jan 31.


The current study was aimed at exploring the protective efficacy of spirulina against the hemato-biochemical alterations and nephrotoxicity induced by lead (Pb). Female rats aged 12 weeks were treated for 4 weeks with Pb (0.344 g kg-1 bw) associated or not with spirulina (5.3 g kg-1 bw). Renal damage induced by Pb was related to a severe anemia, increases of oxidative stress-related parameters (thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) (+29%), protein carbonyl (PCO) (+66.3%), and advanced oxidation protein product (AOPP) (+110%)), plasma lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) (+80%), creatinine and urea levels in plasma, and uric acid concentration in urine, as well as genotoxic changes (+89.3% and +60% for DNA and mRNA levels, respectively). Conversely, LDH and antioxidant enzyme activities in kidney were decreased, as well as the levels of plasma uric acid, and urinary creatinine and urea levels. Spirulina-supplemented rats exhibited normal peripheral blood and renal parameters and renal histology. It can be suggested that Arthrospira platensis alleviates damages induced by Pb, thanks to its high phenolic content and antioxidant capacity.

Keywords: Arthrospira platensis; DNA repair; food safety; genotoxicity; in vitro; lead; renal toxicology.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Creatinine / urine
  • DNA / metabolism
  • DNA Damage
  • Female
  • Hematologic Tests
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Kidney Diseases / chemically induced
  • Kidney Diseases / metabolism
  • Kidney Diseases / pathology
  • Kidney Diseases / therapy*
  • Organometallic Compounds / toxicity*
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Protective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Spirulina*
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances / metabolism
  • Urea / blood
  • Urea / urine
  • Uric Acid / blood
  • Uric Acid / urine


  • Organometallic Compounds
  • Protective Agents
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances
  • Uric Acid
  • Urea
  • DNA
  • Creatinine
  • lead acetate

Supplementary concepts

  • Arthrospira platensis