1998 Volume 44 Issue 6 Pages 841-851
In the present study, we investigated antibody productions of IgA and other classes, such as IgE and IgGI, in mice as possible evidence of the protective effects of Spirulina toward food allergy and microbial infection. An increase of IgE antibody level in the serum was observed in the mice that were orally immunized with crude shrimp extract as an antigen (Ag group). The antibody level, however, was not further enhanced by treatment with Spirulina extract (SpHW). IgG1 antibody, on the other hand, which was increased by antigen administration, was further enhanced by Spirulina extract. It was noted that the IgA antibody level in the intestinal contents was significantly enhanced by treatment with Spirulina extract concurrently ingested with shrimp antigen, in comparison with that of the Ag group treated with shrimp antigen alone. An enhancement of IgA antibody production by Spirulina extract was also observed in culture supernatant of lymphoid cells, especially in the spleen and mesenteric lymph node from mice treated with Spirulina extract for 4 weeks before antigen stimulation. These results suggest that Spirulina may at least neither induce nor enhance allergic reaction such as food allergy dependent on an IgE antibody, and that when ingested both concurrently with antigen and before antigen stimulation, it may significantly enhance the IgA antibody level to protect against allergic reaction.