Neuroprotective Effects of Spirulina Platensis on The Spinal Cord Following Spinal Cord Injury in Rat Models: Locomotor Activity and Ultrastructural Study
1Abdullahi D, 2Annuar A, 3Sanusi J
1Department of Anatomy, College of Medical Sciences, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, Bauchi sta, Nigeria; 2Department of Biomedical Science, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Kuala lump, Malaysia; 3Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Kuala lump, Malaysia
Spinal cord injury (SCI) results from penetrating or compressive traumatic injury to the spine in humans or by the surgical compression of the spinal cord in experimental animals. SCI often results in permanent, debilitating symptoms and intensive research is currently focused on developing potential strategies of mitigating the injury and subsequently improve the recovery of the fine ultrastructure of the spinal cord. The nutraceutical, Spirulina platensis, is thought to have potential neuroprotective effects. In this study, the neuroprotective potential of Spirulina platensis was investigated on ultrastructural and functional recovery of the spinal cord following surgical-induced injury. Twenty-four Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into three groups; sham group, control (trauma) group and experimental (S. platensis) group (180mg/kg) of eight rats each. For each group, the rats were then subdivided into two groups to allow measurement at two different timepoints (day 14 and 28) for the microscopic analysis. Rats in the control and experimental S. platensis groups were subjected to partial crush injury at the twelfth thoracic spinal cord segment (T12) with a Inox number 2 modified forceps by compressing on the spinal cord for 30 sec. Pairwise comparison of the mean difference between the control and S. platensis groups shows that there were significant differences between the locomotor Basso-Beattie-Bresnahan (BBB) scores at days 14th (2.50 ± 0.527, p < 0.05), 21st (3.25 ± 0.656, p < 0.05) and 28th (3.75 ± 0.656, p < 0.05). Pairwise comparisons of ultrastructural grading mean scores difference between the control and experimental S. platensis groups reveals that there were significant differences on the axonal ultrastructure (0.625 ± 0.382, p < 0.05) and myelin sheath (1.375 ± 0.366, p < 0.05) at Day-28; where the control group shows axon with granular dissolution, surrounded by degenerating myelin sheath with characteristic sloughing as compared to better cellular improvement as observed in the experimental S. platensis group. This correlates with the functional locomotor recovery at this timepoint. The results suggest that supplementation with S. platensis induces functional recovery and effective preservation of the spinal cord ultrastructure after SCI. These findings will open new potential avenue for further research into the mechanism of S. platensis -mediated spinal cord repair.
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