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Published on:August 2021
Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, 2021; 55(3):812-822
Original Article | doi:10.5530/ijper.55.3.154

Phytochemical Profiling and in vitro Screening for Neuritogenic and Antioxidant Activities of Spirulina platensis

Authors and affiliation (s):

Ee-Ling Ngu1, Chen-Lin Ko1, Cheng-Yau Tan1, Kah-Hui Wong2, Siew-Moi Phang3,4, Yoon-Yen Yow1,*

1Department of Biological Sciences, School of Medical and Life Sciences, Sunway University, Bandar Sunway, Selangor Darul Ehsan, MALAYSIA.

2Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA.

3Faculty of Applied Sciences, UCSI University, Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA.

4Institute of Ocean and Earth Sciences, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA.


Background: In neurological diseases, neuronal loss is frequently associated with overproduction of free radicals and reduced level of endogenous neurotrophic factors. The blue-green microalga, Spirulina platensis is a well-known superfood with a high content of diverse nutrients and possesses several therapeutic properties. Here, we aimed to study the neuritogenic and antioxidant activities of Spirulina platensis UMACC 159. Materials and Methods: PC-12Adh (rat pheochromocytoma) cell was used to investigate the cytotoxicity effect of S. platensis UMACC 159 extracts (water, methanol, and ethanol) via 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. Neuritogenic activity of the extracts towards PC-12Adh cell line was studied using neurite outgrowth assay and immunofluorescence imaging of neurofilaments. The extracts were screened for the phytochemical contents, and antioxidant activities using 2,2’-Azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS), 2,2-Diphenyl-1- pircrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and reducing power. Results: Ethanol extract was found to exhibit the highest neuritogenic effect and enhanced the cytoskeleton formation in PC-12Adh cells at 6.25 μg/mL. Ethanol extract also showed the highest total phenolic content (49.09 ± 1.35 mg GAE/g), ABTS (EC50 of 1.34 ± 0.01 mg/mL) and DPPH (EC50 of 0.45 ± 0.04 mg/mL) scavenging activities (P ≤ 0.05), suggesting that the neuritogenic effect of ethanol extract was attributed to the phenolic compound(s) via antioxidant activity. Conclusion: Ethanol extract contains bioactive compound(s) with similar neuritogenic activity as nerve growth factor for neuronal survival, growth, and axonal regeneration. S. platensis has been proposed as a promising cognitive supplement.

Key words: Spirulina platensis, Antioxidants, Cytotoxicity, Neuronal outgrowth, Phytochemicals.



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The Official Journal of Association of Pharmaceutical Teachers of India (APTI)
(Registered under Registration of Societies Act XXI of 1860 No. 122 of 1966-1967, Lucknow)

Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (IJPER) [ISSN-0019-5464] is the official journal of Association of Pharmaceutical Teachers of India (APTI) and is being published since 1967.


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