Astaxanthin attenuates neurotoxicity in a mouse model of Parkinson’s disease

B. Grimmig, L. Daly, C. Hudson, K.R. Nash, P.C. Bickford


Background: Astaxanthin (AXT) is a natural carotenoid with diverse biological activities. Although it is best known as a potent antioxidant, recent work suggests additional mechanisms of action that have the potential to oppose the ongoing pathophysiology of Parkinson’s disease (PD). For example, AXT has a putative role in modulating microglial activity and preserving mitochondrial function, thereby implicating this compound as a neuroprotective agent. Both oxidative stress and inflammation are involved in the progression of many neurodegenerative diseases. Therefore, we examined the efficacy for AXT to reduced neurotoxicity in a toxic model of PD in mice. 

Methods: In this study, we used a 4-week dietary supplementation of algae derived AXT to reduce 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) induced dopaminergic cell death.

Results: AXT treated mice were protected against the loss of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) staining in the substantia nigra (SN) after MPTP exposure compared to the control diet. This effect of preserved TH immunoreactivity was also observed in the striatum. Furthermore, AXT administration was able to interrupt the neuroinflammatory process known to contribute to neurodegeneration in this model.

Conclusions: We demonstrate that AXT neuroprotection was associated with attenuated microglial activation as indicated by reduced immunohistochemical detection of IBA-1 in the SN and striatum of AXT treated mice. Altogether, these studies suggest that AXT has neuroprotective property in the central nervous system against MPTP neurodegeneration.

Keywords: Astaxanthin, Neuroprotection, Neurodegeneration, Neuroinflammation, Parkinson’s disease

Full Text: [Abstract] [Full Article]

DOI: 10.31989/ffhd.v7i8.352


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Copyright (c) 2017 Beth Grimmig, Lauren Daly, Ched Hudson, Kevin Nash, Paula Bickford