Neuroprotective mechanisms of astaxanthin: a potential therapeutic role in preserving cognitive function in age and neurodegeneration
- 837 Downloads
Astaxanthin (AXT) is a carotenoid with multiple health benefits. It is currently marketed as a health supplement and is well known for its antioxidant capacity. Recent evidence has emerged to suggest a broad range of biological activities. The interest in this compound has increased dramatically over the last few years and many studies are now applying this molecule across many disease models. Results from the current research are beginning to come together to suggest neuroprotective properties including anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptotic, and antioxidant effects, as well as the potential to promote or maintain neural plasticity. These emergent mechanisms of actions implicate AXT as a promising therapeutic agent for neurodegenerative disease. This review will examine and extrapolate from the recent literature to build support for the use of AXT in mitigating neuropathy in normal aging and neurodegenerative disease.
KeywordsAstaxanthin Aging Neuroprotection Neural plasticity Microglial function
BG, SHK, KN, PCB, and RDS contributed to the writing and revision of this manuscript.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
PCB is a member of the scientific advisory board for Nutrex, Hawaii; RDS was awarded funding from manufactures of AXT supplements.
Grant support: VA MRS grants I01BX003421; I01BX000231 (PCB); NIH R01AG044919 (PCB).
The content of this article does not represent the views of the VA or the government of the USA.
- Abadie-Guedes R, Santos SD, Cahu TB, Guedes RC, de Souza Bezerra R (2008) Dose-dependent effects of astaxanthin on cortical spreading depression in chronically ethanol-treated adult rats. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 32:1417–1421Google Scholar
- Acosta S, Jernberg J, Sanberg C, Sanberg P, Small BJ, Gemma C, Bickford PC (2010) NT-020, a natural therapeutic approach to optimize spatial memory performance and increase neural progenitor cell proliferation and decrease inflammation in the aged rat. Rejuvenation Res 13:581–588CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Al-Amin MM, Sultana R, Sultana S, Rahman MM, Reza HM (2016b) Astaxanthin ameliorates prenatal LPS-exposed behavioral deficits and oxidative stress in adult offspring BMC neuroscience 17:1Google Scholar
- Arvanitakis Z, Fleischman DA, Arfanakis K, Leurgans SE, Barnes LL, Bennett DA (2016) Association of white matter hyperintensities and gray matter volume with cognition in older individuals without cognitive impairment. Brain Struct Funct 221:2135–2146. doi: 10.1007/s00429-015-1034-7 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Bosman G, Bartholomeus I, De Man A, Van Kalmthout P, De Grip W (1991) Erythrocyte membrane characteristics indicate abnormal cellular aging in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Neurobiol Aging 12:13–18Google Scholar
- Giavarotti L et al. (2013) Mild systemic oxidative stress in the subclinical stage of Alzheimer’s disease Oxidative medicine and cellular longevityGoogle Scholar
- Glisky EL (2007) Changes in cognitive function in human aging brain aging: models, methods, and mechanisms:3–20Google Scholar
- Grimmig B, Morganti J, Nash K, Bickford PC (2016) Immunomodulators as therapeutic agents in mitigating the progression of Parkinson’s disease brain. Sciences 6:41Google Scholar
- Komaki A, Karimi SA, Salehi I, Sarihi A, Shahidi S, Zarei M (2015) The treatment combination of vitamins E and C and astaxanthin prevents high-fat diet induced memory deficits in rats. Pharmacol Biochem Behav 131:98–103Google Scholar
- Kosenko E, Tikhonova L, Poghosyan A, Kaminsky Y (2013) Antioxidants in erythrocytes in aging and dementia. Biomeditsinskaya khimiya 59:443–451Google Scholar
- Lee D-H, Lee YJ, Kwon KH (2010) Neuroprotective effects of astaxanthin in oxygen-glucose deprivation in SH-SY5Y cells and global cerebral ischemia in rat. J Clin Biochem Nutr 47:121–129Google Scholar
- Li Z et al. (2013) Astaxanthin protects ARPE-19 cells from oxidative stress via upregulation of Nrf2-regulated phase II enzymes through activation of PI3K/AktGoogle Scholar
- Liu X, Luo Q, Cao Y, Goulette T, Liu X, Xiao H (2016) Mechanism of different stereoisomeric astaxanthin in resistance to oxidative stress in Caenorhabditis elegans. J Food SciGoogle Scholar
- Lynch MA (2009) Age-related neuroinflammatory changes negatively impact on neuronal functionGoogle Scholar
- Nguyen KD (2013) Astaxanthin: a comparative case of synthetic vs. natural productionGoogle Scholar
- Mattei R, Polotow TG, Vardaris CV, Guerra BA, Leite JR, Otton R, Barros MP (2011) Astaxanthin limits fish oil-related oxidative insult in the anterior forebrain of Wistar rats: putative anxiolytic effects? Pharmacol Biochem Behav 99:349–355Google Scholar
- Panis G, Carreon JR (2016) Commercial astaxanthin production derived by green alga Haematococcus pluvialis: a microalgae process model and a techno-economic assessment all through production line. Algal Res 18:175–190 doi: 10.1016/j.algal.2016.06.007
- Park SK, Kim K, Page GP, Allison DB, Weindruch R, Prolla TA (2009) Gene expression profiling of aging in multiple mouse strains: identification of aging biomarkers and impact of dietary antioxidants. Aging cell 8:484–495Google Scholar
- Shen H et al (2009) Astaxanthin reduces ischemic brain injury in adult rats. FASEB journal: official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology 23:1958–1968Google Scholar
- Wang X, Michaelis EK (2010) Selective neuronal vulnerability to oxidative stress in the brain Frontiers in aging neuroscience 2:12Google Scholar
- Xu L, Zhu J, Yin W, Ding X (2015) Astaxanthin improves cognitive deficits from oxidative stress, nitric oxide synthase and inflammation through upregulation of PI3K/Akt in diabetes rat Int J. Clin Exp Pathol 8:6083–6094Google Scholar
- Ye Q, Huang B, Zhang X, Zhu Y, Chen X (2012) Astaxanthin protects against MPP(+)-induced oxidative stress in PC12 cells via the HO-1/NOX2 axis BMC. Neurosci 13:1471–2202Google Scholar
- Zhang XS et al (2014a) Astaxanthin offers neuroprotection and reduces neuroinflammation in experimental subarachnoid hemorrhage. J Surg Res 192:206–213Google Scholar
- Zhang XS et al (2014b) Astaxanthin alleviates early brain injury following subarachnoid hemorrhage in rats: possible involvement of Akt/bad signaling. Mar Drugs 12:4291–4310Google Scholar
- Zhang XS et al (2014c) Amelioration of oxidative stress and protection against early brain injury by astaxanthin after experimental subarachnoid hemorrhage. Journal of Neurosurgery 121:42–54Google Scholar
- Zhou X et al (2015) Inhibition of inflammation by astaxanthin alleviates cognition deficits in diabetic mice. Physiol Behav 151:412–420Google Scholar