Protective effect of Spirulina platensis against cell damage and apoptosis in hepatic tissue caused by high fat diet

Yigit F., Gurel-Gurevin E., Isbilen-Basok B., Esener O. B. B., Bilal T., Keser O., ...More

BIOTECHNIC & HISTOCHEMISTRY, vol.91, no.3, pp.182-194, 2016 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 91 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.3109/10520295.2015.1114142
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.182-194
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


Spirulina platensis is a microalga that may be a source of antioxidants that can reduce body fat deposition. Consumption of a high fat diet produces elevated blood lipid levels, inflammation and apoptosis. We investigated the possible effects of S. platensis on the blood lipid profile, and liver inflammation and apoptosis in rats fed a high fat diet. Sixty-four young male rats were divided into eight equal groups. The control group was fed a basic diet. The experimental groups were fed a diet for 60 days that was prepared by mixing variable amounts of 43% vegetable oil and 10% cholesterol with or without 3% S. platensis mixed with the basal diet. Blood and liver tissue samples were collected from each animal. Serum samples were used to analyze lipid parameters, total antioxidant status and total oxidant status. iNOS and eNOS were determined by immunohistochemistry. TUNEL staining was used to detect apoptosis to investigate a possible connection between inflammation and apoptosis in the liver tissue. The relations between fat deposition and liver degeneration were assessed by Sirius red staining and alpha-smooth muscle actin immunostaining. S. platensis reduced serum HDL-C, LDL-C and triglyceride, increased HDL-C levels in rats fed a high fat diet to near control levels, and reduced iNOS levels and increased eNOS levels in the liver tissue compared to vegetable oil and cholesterol treated groups. The apoptotic index was reduced in the groups that were fed a high fat or a basic diet when supplemented with S. platensis.