Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences

First Advisor

Michael A. Repka

Second Advisor

Eman Ashour

Third Advisor

Dr. Walter Chambliss


University of Mississippi

Relational Format



As one of popular dietary supplements, the health benefits of Arthrospira platensis (commonly known as spirulina) have been broadly reported. Immulina is a commercially available extract of Arthrospira platensis that is enriched with bacterial lipoproteins and acts as a Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) agonist. However, the immunostimulatory effect of Immulina in vivo has not been well understood. In this work, we explored the nanoformulation of Immulina to improve the dissolution rate in aqueous media. Building upon a standardized cell-based assay that measures the bioactivity of Immulina as a TLR2 agonist, we developed a quantitative methodology to determine the Immulina concentration in aqueous solutions. Finally, the immunological effect of Immulina was investigated in healthy mice following daily oral gavage of Immulina nanosuspension for 6 weeks. Mouse whole blood was sampled weekly and incubated with FITC-labeled E. coli particles, to evaluate the phagocytic activity of the circulating neutrophils by flow cytometry analysis. We found that Immulina significantly increased the phagocytic activity of peripheral neutrophils, suggesting an important mechanism for Immulina to boost innate immunity.



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