C-phycocyanin protects against low fertility by inhibiting reactive oxygen species in aging mice.
Oncotarget. 2016 Mar 17. Epub 2016 Mar 17. PMID: 27008700
Women over 35 have higher rates of infertility, largely due to deterioration of oocyte quality characterized by fragmentation, abnormal meiotic spindle-chromosome complexes, and oxidative stress. C-phycocyanin (PC) is a biliprotein enriched in Spirulina platensis that is known to possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and radical-scavenging properties. D-galactose-induced aging acceleration in mice has been extensively used to study aging mechanisms and for pharmaceutical screening. In this study, adult female B6D2F/1 mice injected with D-galactose were used as a model to test the age-reversing effects of PC on degenerated reproductive ability. Our results show that PC can prevent oocyte fragmentation and aneuploidy by maintaining cytoskeletal integrity. Moreover, PC can reverse the expression of antioxidant genes, increase superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity and decrease methane dicarboxylic aldehyde (MDA) content, and normalize mitochondria distribution. PC exerts its benefit by inhibiting reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, which decreases apoptosis. Finally, we observe a significant increase in litter size after PC administration to D-galactose-induced aging mice. Our study demonstrates for the first time that D-galactose-induced impaired female reproductive capability can be partially rescued by the antioxidant effects of PC.