Research Papers: Gerotarget (Focus on Aging):

C-phycocyanin protects against low fertility by inhibiting reactive oxygen species in aging mice

Yan-Jiao Li, Zhe Han, Lei Ge, Cheng-Jie Zhou, Yue-Fang Zhao, Dong-Hui Wang, Jing Ren, Xin-Xin Niu and Cheng-Guang Liang _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:17393-17409. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.8165

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Yan-Jiao Li1, Zhe Han1, Lei Ge1, Cheng-Jie Zhou1, Yue-Fang Zhao1, Dong-Hui Wang1, Jing Ren1, Xin-Xin Niu1 and Cheng-Guang Liang1

1 The Key Laboratory of National Education Ministry for Mammalian Reproductive Biology and Biotechnology, The Research Center for Laboratory Animal Science, College of Life Science, Inner Mongolia University, Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence to:

Cheng-Guang Liang, email:

Keywords: ovarian aging, oocyte, oxidative stress, C-phycocyanin, D-galactose, Gerotarget

Received: January 15, 2016 Accepted: March 04, 2016 Published: March 17, 2016


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.

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