Inhibitory effect of mast cell-mediated immediate-type allergic reactions in rats by spirulina

Biochem Pharmacol. 1998 Apr 1;55(7):1071-6. doi: 10.1016/s0006-2952(97)00678-3.


We investigated the effect of spirulina on mast cell-mediated immediate-type allergic reactions. Spirulina dose-dependently inhibited the systemic allergic reaction induced by compound 48/80 in rats. Spirulina inhibited compound 48/80-induced allergic reaction 100% with doses of 100-1000 microg/g body weight, i.p. Spirulina (10-1000 microg/g body weight, i.p.) also significantly inhibited local allergic reaction activated by anti-dinitrophenyl (DNP) IgE. When rats were pretreated with spirulina at a concentration ranging from 0.01 to 1000 microg/g body weight, i.p., the serum histamine levels were reduced in a dose-dependent manner. Spirulina (0.001 to 10 microg/mL) dose-dependently inhibited histamine release from rat peritoneal mast cells (RPMC) activated by compound 48/80 or anti-DNP IgE. The level of cyclic AMP in RPMC, when spirulina (10 microg/mL) was added, transiently and significantly increased about 70-fold at 10 sec compared with that of control cells. Moreover, spirulina (10 microg/mL) had a significant inhibitory effect on anti-DNP IgE-induced tumor necrosis factor-alpha production. These results indicate that spirulina inhibits mast cell-mediated immediate-type allergic reactions in vivo and in vitro.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Proteins / pharmacology*
  • Cyanobacteria / chemistry*
  • Dinitrobenzenes / pharmacology
  • Histamine / blood
  • Histamine Release / drug effects*
  • Hypersensitivity / metabolism*
  • Immunoglobulin E / biosynthesis
  • Mast Cells / drug effects*
  • Mast Cells / metabolism
  • Peritoneal Cavity / cytology
  • Rats
  • Spirulina
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / biosynthesis
  • p-Methoxy-N-methylphenethylamine / pharmacology


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Dinitrobenzenes
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • p-Methoxy-N-methylphenethylamine
  • Histamine