The preventive role of Spirulina platensis (Arthrospira platensis) in immune and oxidative insults in a stress-induced rat model

SEYİDOĞLU N., Koseli E., Gurbanli R., AYDIN C.

JOURNAL OF VETERINARY RESEARCH, vol.65, no.2, pp.193-200, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 65 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.2478/jvetres-2021-0033
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.193-200
  • Keywords: corticosterone, immune function, oxidant-antioxidant status, Spirulina (Arthrospira) platensis, stress, PSYCHOLOGICAL STRESS, BODY-WEIGHT, ANTIOXIDANT, CORTISOL
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: Yes


Introduction: There is a balance between oxidative stress, antioxidant capacity and immune response. Their roles in physiological and behavioural mechanisms are important for the maintenance of the organism's internal equilibrium. This study aimed to evaluate the antioxidant effects of the exogenous alga Spirulina platensis (Arthrospira platensis) in a stress-induced rat model, and to describe its possible mechanism of action. Material and Methods: Thirty-six adult male Sprague Dawley rats were separated into four groups: control (C), stress (S), S. platensis (Sp), and S. platensis + stress (SpS). The rats in groups Sp and SpS were fed with 1,500 mg/kg b.w./day Spirulina platensis for 28 days. All rats were exposed to prolonged light phase conditions (18 h light:6 h dark) for 14 days. The SpS and S groups were exposed to stress by being kept isolated and in a crowded environment. Blood samples were obtained by puncturing the heart on the 28th day. The effect of stress on serum corticosterone, oxidative stress markers (TOS, TAC, PON1, OSI) and immunological parameters (IL-2, IL-4, IFN-gamma) were tested. Also, the brain, heart, intestines (duodenum, ileum, and colon), kidney, liver, spleen, and stomach of the rats were weighed. Results: Serum corticosterone levels were higher in the S group than in the C group, and significantly lower in the SpS group than in the S group. Mean total antioxidant capacity were lower in the S group than in the C group, and Spirulina reversed this change. Although not significantly different, IL-2 was lower in the S group than in the C group. However, in the SpS group, IL-2 increased due to Spirulina platensis mitigating effects of stress. Conclusion: Male rats fed a diet with Spirulina platensis could experience significantly milder physiological changes during stress, although stress patterns may be different. Exogenous antioxidant supplements merit further investigation in animals and humans where the endogenous defence mechanism against stress may not be sufficient.C