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The Protective Effects of Astaxanthin on the OVA-Induced Asthma Mice Model

College of Pharmacy, Sunchon National University, 255 Jungangno, Suncheon 540-950, Korea
Singapore Bioimaging Consortium, Agency for Science, Technology and Research, 11 Biopolis Way, No. 02-02 Helios, Singapore 138667, Singapore
Suncheon Research Center for Natural Medicines, Suncheon 540-950, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Molecules 2017, 22(11), 2019;
Received: 31 October 2017 / Accepted: 17 November 2017 / Published: 21 November 2017
PDF [3209 KB, uploaded 21 November 2017]


Although astaxanthin has a variety of biological activities such as anti-oxidant effects, inhibitory effects on skin deterioration and anti-inflammatory effects, its effect on asthma has not been studied. In this paper, the inhibitory effect of astaxanthin on airway inflammation in a mouse model of ovalbumin (OVA)-induced asthma was investigated. We evaluated the number of total cells, Th1/2 mediated inflammatory cytokines in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and airway hyperresponsiveness as well as histological structure. The level of total IgE, IgG1, IgG2a, OVA-specific IgG1, and OVA-specific IgG2a were also examined. The oral administration of 50 mg/mL astaxanthin inhibited the respiratory system resistance, elastance, newtonian resistance, tissue damping, and tissue elastance. Also, astaxanthin suppressed the total cell number, IL-4, and IL-5, and increased the IFN-γ in the BALF. In the sera, total IgE, IgG1, and OVA-specific IgG1 were reduced by astaxanthin exposure and IgG2a and OVA-specific IgG2a were enhanced via oral administration of astaxanthin. Infiltration of inflammatory cells in the lung, production of mucus, lung fibrosis, and expression of caspase-1 or caspase-3 were suppressed in OVA-induced asthmatic animal treated with astaxanthin. These results suggest that astaxanthin may have therapeutic potential for treating asthma via inhibiting Th2-mediated cytokine and enhancing Th1-mediated cytokine. View Full-Text
Keywords: asthma; airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR); helper T cells (Th cells); astaxanthin asthma; airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR); helper T cells (Th cells); astaxanthin

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Hwang, Y.-H.; Hong, S.-G.; Mun, S.-K.; Kim, S.-J.; Lee, S.-J.; Kim, J.-J.; Kang, K.-Y.; Yee, S.-T. The Protective Effects of Astaxanthin on the OVA-Induced Asthma Mice Model. Molecules 2017, 22, 2019.

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