Spirulina improves non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, visceral fat macrophage aggregation, and serum leptin in a mouse model of metabolic syndrome

Makoto Fujimoto, Koichi Tsuneyama, Takako Fujimoto, Carlo Selmi, M. Eric Gershwin, Yutaka Shimada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Nutritional approaches are sought to overcome the limits of pioglitazone in metabolic syndrome and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Spirulina, a filamentous unicellular alga, reduces serum lipids and blood pressure while exerting antioxidant effects. Aim: To determine whether Spirulina may impact macrophages infiltrating the visceral fat in obesity characterizing our metabolic syndrome mouse model induced by the subcutaneous injection treatment of monosodium glutamate. Methods: Mice were randomized to receive standard food added with 5% Spirulina, 0.02% pioglitazone, or neither. We tested multiple biochemistry and histology (both liver and visceral fat) readouts at 24. weeks of age. Results: Data demonstrate that both the Spirulina and the pioglitazone groups had significantly lower serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels and liver non-esterified fatty acid compared to untreated mice. Spirulina and pioglitazone were associated with significantly lower leptin and higher levels, respectively, compared to the control group. At liver histology, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease activity score and lipid peroxide were significantly lower in mice treated with Spirulina. Conclusions: Spirulina reduces dyslipidaemia in our metabolic syndrome model while ameliorating visceral adipose tissue macrophages. Human studies are needed to determine whether this safe supplement could prove beneficial in patients with metabolic syndrome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)767-774
Number of pages8
JournalDigestive and Liver Disease
Volume44
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2012

Keywords

  • Adipocytokines
  • Crown like structure
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Hepatology

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