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Phycobiliprotein C-Phycocyanin from Spirulina platensis Is Powerfully Responsible for Reducing Oxidative Stress and NADPH Oxidase Expression Induced by an Atherogenic Diet in Hamsters

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EA 4188, Nutrition Humaine, Biodisponibilité et Athérogénèse, Place E. Bataillon, Université Montpellier 1 & 2, 34095 Montpellier, France; Physiologie & Technologies Végétales, UMR IR2B, Place E. Bataillon, Université Montpellier 2, 34095 Montpellier, France; Greensea, Parc Scientifique et Environnemental, 34140, Mèze, France; and Laboratoires Vita Api, 770 chemin des Laujiers, 83210 Sollies-Pont, France
* Address correspondence to this author at Equipe d’Accueil 4188 Nutrition Humaine, Biodisponibilité et Athérogénèse, CC 023, Place Eugène Bataillon, Université Montpellier 2, 34095 Montpellier cedex 5, France [telephone and fax 33 (0)4 67 14 35 21 ; e-mail [email protected]].
†Université Montpellier 1 & 2.
‡Université Montpellier 2.
§Greensea, Parc Scientifique et Environnemental.
∥Laboratoires Vita Api.
⊥Authors made an equal contribution.
Cite this: J. Agric. Food Chem. 2007, 55, 19, 7962–7967
Publication Date (Web):August 16, 2007
Copyright © 2007 American Chemical Society

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    The effects of spirulina and its chromophore phycocyanin, both without bound Se or selenium-enriched, were studied on plasma cholesterol, early atherosclerosis, cardiac production of superoxide anions, and NAD(P)H oxidase expression in hamsters. Forty hamsters were divided into 5 groups of 8 and fed an atherogenic diet for 12 weeks. They received by gavage either 7.14 mL/(kg day) phycocyanin (PC), Se-rich phycocyanin (SePC), spirulina (SP) or Se-rich spirulina (SeSP) in water, or water as control. SeSP and SePC supplied 0.4 µg of Se per 100 g body weight. Plasma cholesterol and non-HDL cholesterol concentrations were lower in group consuming SePC. HDL-cholesterol was never affected. SePC significantly increased plasma antioxidant capacity by 42% compared with controls. A sparing effect in liver glutathione peroxidase (87% on average) and superoxide dismutase (56% on average) activity was observed for all the groups compared to controls. Aortic fatty streak area was significantly reduced in the experimental groups, especially by PC (82%) and SePC (85%). Cardiac production of superoxide anion significantly decreased by ∼46–76% in the four experimental groups and especially in SePC group (76%). The expression of p22phox subunit of NAD(P)H oxidase decreased by 34% after consumption of SePC. The results indicate that chronic consumption of Se-rich spirulina phycocyanin powerfully prevents the development of atherosclerosis. The underlying mechanism is related mainly to inhibiting pro-oxidant factors and at a lesser extent improving the serum lipid profile.

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