Background: Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA) is a unicellular cyanobacterium considered to be a “superfood” for its complete nutritional profile and beneficial properties. We investigated possible beneficial effects of an AFA extract, commercialized as AphaMax®, containing concentrated amount of phycocyanins and phytochrome, in 2,4 dinitrobenzensulfonic acid(DNBS)-induced colitis in rats. Methods: Effects of preventive oral treatment of AphaMax® (20, 50 or 100 mg/kg/day) in colitic rats were assessed and then macroscopic and microscopic analyses were performed to evaluate the inflammation degree. Myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity and NF-κB, pro-inflammatory citockines, cycloxygenase-2 (COX-2), and inducible NOS (iNOS) levels of expression were determined, as Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) and nitrite levels. Results: AphaMax® treatment attenuated the severity of colitis ameliorating clinical signs. AphaMax® reduced the histological colonic damage and decreased MPO activity, NF-κB activation, as well as iNOS and COX-2 expression. AphaMax® treatment improved the altered immune response associated with colonic inflammation reducing IL-1β, IL-6 expression. Lastly, AphaMax® reduced oxidative stress, decreasing ROS and nitrite levels. Conclusions: Preventive treatment with AphaMax® attenuates the severity of the inflammation in DNBS colitis rats involving decrease of the NF-kB activation, reduction of iNOS and COX-2 expression, and inhibition of oxidative stress. Due its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant proprieties AphaMax® could be a good candidate as a complementary drug in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) treatment.
|Number of pages||16|
|Publication status||Published - 2020|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Nutrition and Dietetics