Abstract Title:

Antihypertensive potential and mechanism of action of astaxanthin: II. Vascular reactivity and hemorheology in spontaneously hypertensive rats.

Abstract Source:

Biol Pharm Bull. 2005 Jun;28(6):967-71. PMID: 15930728

Abstract Author(s):

Ghazi Hussein, Hirozo Goto, Shinobu Oda, Tomomi Iguchi, Ushio Sankawa, Kinzo Matsumoto, Hiroshi Watanabe

Article Affiliation:

International Research Center for Traditional Medicine, Toyama Prefecture, Japan. [email protected]


The current study was designed to determine the effects of a dietary astaxanthin (ASX-O) on vascular reactivity in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR), in order to verify its antihypertensive action mechanism. We evaluated contractions induced by phenylephrine (Phe), angiotensin II (Ang II) and the xanthine/xanthine oxidase (Xan/XOD) system, and relaxations induced by sodium nitroprusside (SNP) as well as endothelium-dependent relaxations mediated by acetylcholine (ACh) in thoracic aorta of the SHR, with and without ASX-O intervention. We also investigated the effects of ASX-O on blood rheology using a microchannel array system. In this study, ASX-O showed a significant modulatory effect on nitric oxide (NO)-induced vasorelaxation by the NO-donor SNP (p<0.05). However, it did not show significant effects in restoring the impaired endothelium-dependent relaxation to ACh in the SHR. On the other hand, the constrictive effects by Phe, Ang II and Xan/XOD were ameliorated by ASX-O (p<0.05). ASX-O also demonstrated significant hemorheological effect by decreasing the microchannel transit time of whole blood. In conclusion, the results suggest that ASX-O may act in modulating the blood fluidity in hypertension, and that the antihypertensive effects of ASX-O may be exerted through mechanisms including normalization of the sensitivity of the adrenoceptor sympathetic pathway, particularly [alpha]-adrenoceptors, and by restoration of the vascular tone through attenuation of the Ang II- and reactive oxygen species (ROS)-induced vasoconstriction.

Study Type : Animal Study

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