Protection against cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity by Spirulina in rats

  • Iyyapu Krishna Mohan
  • Mahmood Khan
  • Jagdish Chandra Shobha
  • Madireddy Umamaheswara Rao Naidu
  • Aruna Prayag
  • Periannan Kuppusamy
  • Vijay Kumar Kutala
Original Article


Purpose: Cisplatin (CP)-induced nephrotoxicity is associated with the increased generation of reactive oxygen metabolites and lipid peroxidation in kidney, caused by the decreased levels of antioxidants and antioxidant enzymes. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the role of Spirulina, blue–green alga with antioxidant properties, in the protection of cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity in rat. Methods: Rats were treated with CP (6 mg/kg bw, single dose, intraperitoneally). Spirulina (1,000 mg/kg) was administered orally for 8 days and CP treatment was given on day 4. Nephrotoxicity was assessed, 6 days after the CP treatment, by measuring plasma urea, creatinine, urinary N-acetyl-(d-glucose-aminidase) (β-NAG) and histopathology of kidney. Results: Rats treated with CP showed marked nephrotoxicity as evidenced from the significant elevation in plasma urea, creatinine and urinary β-NAG. Histological assessment revealed marked proximal tubular necrosis and extensive epithelial vacuolization in the kidney of CP-treated rats. Superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase were decreased and lipid peroxidation was increased in kidney tissue. Pretreatment with Spirulina protected the rats from CP-induced nephrotoxicity. The rise in plasma urea, creatinine, urinary β-NAG, plasma and kidney tissue MDA and histomorphological changes were significantly attenuated by Spirulina. In vitro studies using human ovarian cancer cells revealed that Spirulina did not interfere with the cytotoxic effects of CP on tumor cells. Conclusions: In summary, Spirulina significantly protected the CP-induced nephrotoxicity through its antioxidant properties.


Cisplatin Nephrotoxicity Spirulina C-phycocyanin Antioxidant 



We thank M/s Parry Neutraceuticals, Chennai, India for providing the pure powder of Spirulina for our study and Jing Fang for her help in the study with ovarian cancer cells. This work was partially supported by the National Institutes of Health Grant CA-102264.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Iyyapu Krishna Mohan
    • 1
  • Mahmood Khan
    • 2
  • Jagdish Chandra Shobha
    • 1
  • Madireddy Umamaheswara Rao Naidu
    • 1
  • Aruna Prayag
    • 3
  • Periannan Kuppusamy
    • 2
  • Vijay Kumar Kutala
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Clinical Pharmacology and TherapeuticsNizam’s Institute of Medical SciencesHyderabadIndia
  2. 2.Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute, Comprehensive Cancer CenterThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  3. 3.Department of PathologyNizam’s Institute of Medical SciencesHyderabadIndia

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