The effects of Spirulina platensis on behavior in adolescent rats fed a high-fat diet

Usluel G., Acikgoz B., Dalkiran B., Kiray A., Aksu İ., Kiray M.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL NEUROSCIENCE, vol.83, no.6, pp.505-517, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 83 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/jdn.10281
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.505-517
  • Keywords: high-fat diet, leptin, Sirtuin-1, Spirulina platensis
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


In recent years, childhood overweight and obesity have become a universal public health problem. Obesity may lead to cognitive disorders, depression and anxiety by affecting neuronal processes. Spirulina platensis (SP), a species of microalgae from the Chlorophyceae green algae class, has neuroprotective effects and may reduce body weight. In this study, we aimed to investigate the effects of SP on behavior alongside the role of leptin and Sirtuin-1 in fed with high-fat diet (HFD) adolescent rats. Four-week-old Sprague Dawley male rats were divided into four groups: control, HFD, HFD + SP150 (150 mg/kg/day SP, orally), HFD + SP450 (450 mg/kg/day SP, orally). Rats except for the control group exposed to 60% HFD along 12 weeks. Last 6 weeks SP or vehicle administered. After the behavioral tests, leptin and Sirtuin-1 levels in prefrontal cortex and hippocampus regions were evaluated. SP150 significantly reduced body weight compared with HFD group. The time spent in the center of open field increased significantly in SP150-treated rats compared with HFD. SP150 and SP450 significantly decreased immobility time in forced swim test compared with HFD. Leptin levels in HFD group were significantly lower in prefrontal cortex compared to control group. Leptin levels of the HFD + SP450 group were significantly higher than HFD group in the hippocampus. There was no significant difference between groups in Sirtuin-1 levels. In conclusion, SP supplementation in adolescence period might positively affect chronic high fat-induced anxiety-like and depressive-like behavior by partially affecting brain leptin levels and without affecting Sirtuin-1 levels.