Effect of dietary astaxanthin at different stages of mammary tumor initiation in BALB/c mice.
Anticancer Res. 2010 Jun;30(6):2171-5. PMID: 20651366
School of Food Science, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164, USA.
The effects of astaxanthin on tumor growth, cardiac function and immune response in mice were studied. Female BALB/c mice were fed a control diet (diet C) for 8 weeks, 0.005% astaxathin for 8 weeks (diet A), or diet C for weeks 1-5 followed by diet A thereafter (diet CA). Mice were injected with a mammary tumor cell line on day 7 and tumor growth was measured daily. Mice fed diet A had extended tumor latency and lower tumor volume (p<0.05). Interestingly, those fed diet CA showed the fastest tumor growth. Astaxanthin feeding elevated plasma astaxanthin concentrations; there was no difference in plasma astaxanthin between mice fed CA and those fed A. Mice fed diet A, but not CA, had a higher (p<0.05) natural killer cell subpopulation and plasma interferon-gamma concentration compared to those fed diet C. Astaxanthin delayed tumor growth and modulated immune response, but only when astaxanthin was given before tumor initiation. This suggests that an adequate blood astaxanthin status is needed to protect against tumor initiation; conversely, astaxanthin supplementation after tumor initiation may be contraindicated.