Poster Topical Area: Dietary Bioactive Components

Location: Hall D

Poster Board Number: 344

P08-086 - Evaluation of Spirulina Platensis Supplementation for the Prevention of Liver Inflammation and Fibrosis

Monday, Jun 11
8:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Objectives: Incidence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has increased with the rise of the obesity epidemic. Liver fibrosis presents a particular challenge as there is currently no effective anti-fibrotic treatment. Spirulina platensis (SP)is an edible blue-green alga that is widely supplemented in health foods. SP has been demonstrated to possess anti-inflammatory and hepatoprotective effects. The objective of this study was to determine whether supplementation of SP can prevent obesity-induced hepatic inflammation and fibrosis in vivo.

Forty-five male C57BL/6J mice were randomly assigned to a low-fat diet (LFD) or a high-fat/high-sucrose/high-cholesterol diet (HFD), or HFD supplemented with 2.5% SP (w/w) (SPD) for 20 wk. Plasma was collected every 4 wk and mice were subjected to oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) at wk 18 and indirect calorimetry at wk 19. Body weight and tissue weights were measured. Tissue mRNA expression for markers of inflammation and fibrosis was analyzed.

There were no differences in the body weight of mice on HFD or SPD throughout the study. Indirect calorimetry analysis showed that there were no differences in the activity or energy expenditure between mice on HFD and SPD. During OGTT, blood glucose levels were significantly lower in mice on the SPD at 60 min compared to the HFD, but not at 120 and 180 min. Plasma concentrations of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and triglyceride, but not total cholesterol, was significantly reduced after 16 wk in SPD mice compared to HFD mice. At wk 20, however, serum triglyceride, cholesterol, and ALT levels were not different between mice on HFD or SPD. Liver gene analysis revealed that there were no differences in the expression of markers of liver fibrosis and inflammation between HFD and SPD. Basal expression of interleukin (IL)-1b, but not tumor necrosis factor a and IL-6, was significantly reduced in the splenocytes isolated from mice on SPD compared to HFD.

SP supplementation appears to attenuate HFD-induced dyslipidemia and liver damage early on in C57BL/6 mice, but did not attenuate HFD-induced hepatic inflammation and fibrosis by 20 wk. Further studies with different feeding periods are required to fully evaluate whether SP may be effective in preventing obesity-induced hepatic inflammation and fibrosis.

Funding Source: USDA NIFA (2016-04624)

CoAuthors: Minkyung Bae – University of Connecticut; Yoojin Lee – University of Connecticut; Siqi Hu – University of Connecticut; Nicholas Santangelo – University of Connecticut; Mi-Bo Kim – University of Connecticut; Hyunju Kang – University of Connecticut; Young-Ki Park – University of Connecticut; Ji-Young Lee – University of Connecticut

Tho X. Pham

Postdoctoral Fellow
University of Connecticut
Storrs, Connecticut