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Spirulina ameliorates methotrexate hepatotoxicity via antioxidant, immune stimulation, and proinflammatory cytokines and apoptotic proteins modulation

Khafaga, Asmaa F., El-Sayed, Yasser S.
Life sciences 2018 v.196 pp. 9-17
Spirulina platensis, antioxidants, apoptosis, autoimmune diseases, blood serum, caspase-3, catalase, cytotoxicity, hepatocytes, hepatotoxicity, histology, immunoglobulin A, immunoglobulin G, immunoglobulin M, immunosuppression, interleukin-6, lactate dehydrogenase, leukocyte count, lipid peroxidation, liver, males, malondialdehyde, methotrexate, necrosis, oxidants, pro-apoptotic proteins, pulp, rats, superoxide dismutase, transaminases, tumor necrosis factor-alpha
Methotrexate (MTX) is an efficient cytotoxic drug used against various carcinogenic, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases; however, the hepatotoxicity of MTX limits its use. Therefore, the present study aimed to evaluate the potential hepatoprotective and immune-stimulant effect of Spirulina platensis (SP) against MTX acute toxicity.Thirty-two male Wistar rats were randomly allocated into the following four groups (n = 8): control, SP (500 mg/kg bwt, oral gavage daily for 21 days), MTX (20 mg/kg bwt, single ip injection), and MTX+SP. Hepatic and splenic histoarchitecture, leukocyte counts and serum immunoglobulins were evaluated. Hepatic oxidant/antioxidant status, proinflammatory cytokines (tumor necrosis factor-α, and interleukin 6), and pro-apoptotic proteins (caspase 3 and Bax) immunoexpression were assessed.MTX induced extensive hepatic necrosis and vacuolation, and sever lymphoid depletion in splenic white pulp with increased levels of serum transaminases, lactate dehydrogenase, and hepatic malondialdehyde, tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin 6; and number of caspase 3- and Bax-positive hepatocytes. A significant decrease in leukocyte counts, serum immunoglobulins (IgA, IgM and IgG) level, and hepatic antioxidant enzymes (GSH, GPx, SOD, and CAT) was also detected. Pretreatment with SP resulted in significant improvements in hepatic and splenic histologic architecture, as well as restoring liver enzymes and reduction of lipid peroxidation product, proinflammatory cytokines, and caspase 3 and Bax immunoexpression. Additionally, a significant increase in antioxidant enzymes, serum immunoglobulins, and total leukocyte counts was demonstrated.SP possesses promising antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptotic and immune stimulatory properties against MTX-induced hepatotoxicity and immunosuppression.