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Open AccessArticle

Polymethoxy-1-Alkenes Screening of Chlorella and Spirulina Food Supplements Coupled with In Vivo Toxicity Studies

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Department of Biology, Universidad del Valle, 100-00 Cali, Colombia
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School of Natural Sciences, Alun Roberts Building (Chemistry), Bangor University, LL57 2UW Bangor, Wales, UK
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Department of Orthopedagogy and Physical Therapy, Ternopil V. Hnatiuk National Pedagogical University, 46027 Ternopil, Ukraine
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Department of Water Protection, Adam Mickiewicz University, 61-614 Poznan, Poland
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Department of Environmental Medicine, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, 60-806 Poznan, Poland
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Toxins 2020, 12(2), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins12020111
Received: 10 January 2020 / Revised: 1 February 2020 / Accepted: 7 February 2020 / Published: 10 February 2020
Selected species of cyanobacteria and green algae have been reported to produce lipophilic polymethoxy-1-alkenes (PMAs) which were shown to exhibit in vivo teratogenicity. Considering that information on PMAs in Arthospira sp. (known commercially as Spirulina) and Chlorella sp. cultivated for food supplement production was essentially lacking, the present study screened Chlorella (n = 10) and Spirulina (n = 13) food supplements registered in the European Union. Mass spectrometry analysis of column fractionated extracts was performed. None of the four variants previously reported in some cyanobacteria and green algae, nor any potentially related structures were detected in the studied samples. Since the isolated lipophilic fractions contained various compounds, they were further screened for in vivo teratogenicity in Danio rerio embryo, and for the potential to induce oxidative stress and genotoxicity in the liver and neurotoxicity in the brain of adult zebrafish. None of the tested food supplements had detectable levels of PMAs or any potentially related structures. No teratogenicity was revealed except for spinal curvature induced by fractions obtained from two Chlorella products. Selected fractions revealed cytotoxicity as indicated by an increased level of reactive oxygen species, catalase activity, lipid peroxidation and increased frequency of DNA strand breaks in hepatic tissue. The majority (60%) of Chlorella fractions induced an increase in cholinesterase activity in zebrafish brain homogenate while exposure to 61.5% of Spirulina fractions was associated with its decrease. The present study confirms that Chlorella and Spirulina food supplements are free of teratogenic PMAs, although the observed in vivo toxicities raise questions regarding the quality of selected products.
Keywords: cyanotoxins; polymethoxy-1-alkenes; food supplements; Arthrospira; Spirulina; Chlorella; human health risk assessment; zebrafish teratogenicity; oxidative stress; genotoxicity; neurotoxicity cyanotoxins; polymethoxy-1-alkenes; food supplements; Arthrospira; Spirulina; Chlorella; human health risk assessment; zebrafish teratogenicity; oxidative stress; genotoxicity; neurotoxicity
MDPI and ACS Style

Henao, E.; Murphy, P.J.; Falfushynska, H.; Horyn, O.; Evans, D.M.; Klimaszyk, P.; Rzymski, P. Polymethoxy-1-Alkenes Screening of Chlorella and Spirulina Food Supplements Coupled with In Vivo Toxicity Studies. Toxins 2020, 12, 111.

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