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Mar. Drugs 2017, 15(6), 187;

The Sea Urchin Arbacia lixula: A Novel Natural Source of Astaxanthin

Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Villa Comunale, 80121 Naples, Italy
Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Production, University of Naples “Federico II”, Via Federico Delpino 1, 80137 Naples, Italy
National Research Council (CNR)—Institute of Coastal Marine Environment (IAMC), Calata Porta di Massa, 80133 Naples, Italy
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 March 2017 / Revised: 8 June 2017 / Accepted: 16 June 2017 / Published: 21 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Secondary Metabolite II, 2017)
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Several echinoderms, including sea urchins, are valuable sources of bioactive compounds but their nutraceutical potential is largely unexplored. In fact, the gonads of some sea urchin species contain antioxidants including carotenoids and polyhydroxylated naphthoquinones (PHNQ’s), such as echinochrome A. Astaxanthin is known to have particular bioactivity for the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases. This carotenoid is produced by microalgae, while several marine invertebrates can bioaccumulate or synthetize it from metabolic precursors. We determined the carotenoid content and analyzed the bioactivity potential of non-harvested Atlantic-Mediterranean sea urchin Arbacia lixula. The comparison of methanol crude extracts obtained from eggs of farmed and wild specimens revealed a higher bioactivity in farmed individuals fed with a customized fodder. HPLC-analysis revealed a high concentration of astaxanthin (27.0 μg/mg), which was the only pigment observed. This study highlights the potential of farmed A. lixula as a new source of the active stereoisomer of astaxanthin. View Full-Text
Keywords: echinoderms; carotenoids; bioactive compounds; DPPH assay; harvesting; dietary supplement echinoderms; carotenoids; bioactive compounds; DPPH assay; harvesting; dietary supplement

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Cirino, P.; Brunet, C.; Ciaravolo, M.; Galasso, C.; Musco, L.; Vega Fernández, T.; Sansone, C.; Toscano, A. The Sea Urchin Arbacia lixula: A Novel Natural Source of Astaxanthin. Mar. Drugs 2017, 15, 187.

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