Efficacy of Astaxanthin for the Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis in a Murine Model.
PLoS One. 2016 ;11(3):e0152288. Epub 2016 Mar 29. PMID: 27023003
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a common chronic inflammatory skin disease associated with various factors, including immunological abnormalities and exposure to allergens. Astaxanthin (AST) is a xanthophyll carotenoid that has recently been demonstrated to have anti-inflammatory effects and to regulate the expression of inflammatory cytokines. Thus, we investigated whether AST could improve the dermatitis and pruritus in a murine model of AD using NC/Nga mice. In addition to a behavioral evaluation, the effects of AST on the AD were determined by the clinical skin severity score, serum IgE level, histological analyses of skin, and by reverse transcription-PCR and Western blotting analyses for the expression of inflammation-related factors. AST (100 mg/kg) or vehicle (olive oil) was orally administered once day and three times a week for 26 days. When compared with vehicle-treated group, the administration of AST significantly reduced the clinical skin severity score. In addition, the spontaneous scratching in AD model mice was reduced by AST administration. Moreover, the serum IgE level was markedly decreased by the oral administration of AST compared to that in vehicle-treated mice. The number of eosinophils, total and degranulated mast cells all significantly decreased in the skin of AST-treated mice compared with vehicle-treated mice. The mRNA and protein levels of eotaxin, MIF, IL-4, IL-5 and L-histidine decarboxylase were significantly decreased in the skin of AST-treated mice compared with vehicle-treated mice. These results suggest that AST improves the dermatitis and pruritus in AD via the regulation of the inflammatory effects and the expression of inflammatory cytokines.