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Astaxanthin Suppresses Cigarette Smoke-Induced Emphysema through Nrf2 Activation in Mice

Department of Respiratory Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka City University, Osaka 545-8585, Japan
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Mar. Drugs 2019, 17(12), 673; https://doi.org/10.3390/md17120673
Received: 31 October 2019 / Revised: 26 November 2019 / Accepted: 26 November 2019 / Published: 28 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Collection Marine Carotenoids)
Oxidative stress plays an important role in the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The activation of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) is a key cellular defense mechanism against oxidative stress. Recent studies have shown that astaxanthin protects against oxidative stress via Nrf2. In this study, we investigated the emphysema suppression effect of astaxanthin via Nrf2 in mice. Mice were divided into four groups: control, smoking, astaxanthin, and astaxanthin + smoking. The mice in the smoking and astaxanthin + smoking groups were exposed to cigarette smoke for 12 weeks, and the mice in the astaxanthin and astaxanthin + smoking groups were fed a diet containing astaxanthin. Significantly increased expression levels of Nrf2 and its target gene, heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), were found in the lung homogenates of astaxanthin-fed mice. The number of inflammatory cells in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) was significantly decreased, and emphysema was significantly suppressed. In conclusion, astaxanthin protects against oxidative stress via Nrf2 and ameliorates cigarette smoke-induced emphysema. Therapy with astaxanthin directed toward activating the Nrf2 pathway has the potential to be a novel preventive and therapeutic strategy for COPD. View Full-Text
Keywords: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; oxidative stress; astaxanthin; nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2; heme oxygenase-1 chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; oxidative stress; astaxanthin; nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2; heme oxygenase-1
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Kubo, H.; Asai, K.; Kojima, K.; Sugitani, A.; Kyomoto, Y.; Okamoto, A.; Yamada, K.; Ijiri, N.; Watanabe, T.; Hirata, K.; Kawaguchi, T. Astaxanthin Suppresses Cigarette Smoke-Induced Emphysema through Nrf2 Activation in Mice. Mar. Drugs 2019, 17, 673.

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