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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 871657, 8 pages
Research Article

Behavioral and Histopathological Study of Changes in Spinal Cord Injured Rats Supplemented with Spirulina platensis

Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Received 16 May 2014; Accepted 2 July 2014; Published 24 July 2014

Academic Editor: Siew Hua Gan

Copyright © 2014 Izzuddin Aziz et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a devastating disease that leads to permanent disability and causes great suffering. The resulting neurological dysfunction and paralysis is proportional to the severity of the trauma itself. Spirulina is widely used as a nutritional supplement due to its high protein and antioxidant content. In the present study, the protective effect of the Spirulina treatment on locomotor function and morphological damage after SCI was investigated. Seventy Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were divided into three groups: Sham (laminectomy alone), Control (laminectomy with SCI), and Experimental (laminectomy with SCI +180 mg/kg per day Spirulina platensis). A laminectomy was performed at T12 and an Inox No.2 modified forceps was used to perform a partial crush injury on the spinal cord. The rats were then perfused at 3, 7, 14, 21, and 28 days after injury for morphological investigations. The injured rat spinal cord indicated a presence of hemorrhage, cavity, and necrosis. Pretreatment with Spirulina significantly improved the locomotor function and showed a significant reduction on the histological changes. The experimental results observed in this study suggest that treatment with Spirulina platensis possesses potential benefits in improving hind limb locomotor function and reducing morphological damage to the spinal cord.