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Protective Effects of Fucoxanthin on Ultraviolet B-Induced Corneal Denervation and Inflammatory Pain in a Rat Model

Department of Neurosurgery, Mackay Memorial Hospital, Taipei 10449, Taiwan
Department of Medicine, Mackay Medical College, New Taipei 25245, Taiwan
Internal Medicine, Taipei Hospital, Ministry of Health and Welfare, New Taipei 24213, Taiwan
Department of Business Administration, National Taipei University, New Taipei 24741, Taiwan
Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, College of Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taipei 11049, Taiwan
Department of Optometry, Mackay Junior College of Medicine, Nursing and Management, New Taipei 11260, Taiwan
School of Life Science, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei 10610, Taiwan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Mar. Drugs 2019, 17(3), 152;
Received: 15 February 2019 / Revised: 27 February 2019 / Accepted: 28 February 2019 / Published: 5 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Anti-inflammatory Agents)
PDF [2360 KB, uploaded 5 March 2019]


Fucoxanthin is a carotenoid with many pharmaceutical properties that is found in brown seaweed. However, the effects of fucoxanthin on corneal innervation and intense eye pain have not been extensively examined. To clarify the protective roles and underlying mechanisms of fucoxanthin on ocular lesions, we investigated the beneficial effects and mechanisms by which fucoxanthin ameliorates ultraviolet B (UVB)-induced corneal denervation and trigeminal pain. Treatment with fucoxanthin enhanced the expression of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 in the cornea. Inhibition of typical denervation and epithelial exfoliation in the cornea were observed in rats treated with fucoxanthin following UVB-induced nerve disorders. Moreover, the active phosphorylated form of p38 MAP kinase (pp38) and the number of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-positive neural cells were significantly reduced. Decreased expression of neuron-selective transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1) in the trigeminal ganglia neurons was also demonstrated in rats treated with fucoxanthin after UVB-induced keratitis. Symptoms of inflammatory pain, including difficulty in opening the eyes and eye wipe behaviour, were also reduced in fucoxanthin-treated groups. Pre-treatment with fucoxanthin may protect the eyes from denervation and inhibit trigeminal pain in UVB-induced photokeratitis models. View Full-Text
Keywords: fucoxanthin; ultraviolet B; denervation fucoxanthin; ultraviolet B; denervation

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Chen, S.-J.; Lee, C.-J.; Lin, T.-B.; Peng, H.-Y.; Liu, H.-J.; Chen, Y.-S.; Tseng, K.-W. Protective Effects of Fucoxanthin on Ultraviolet B-Induced Corneal Denervation and Inflammatory Pain in a Rat Model. Mar. Drugs 2019, 17, 152.

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