Astaxanthin-antioxidant impact on excessive Reactive Oxygen Species generation induced by ischemia and reperfusion injury.
Chem Biol Interact. 2018 Jan 5 ;279:145-158. Epub 2017 Nov 24. PMID: 29179950
Oxidative stress induced by Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) was shown to be involved in the pathogenesis of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular pathologies. Particularly, oxidative stress has proved to mediate abnormal platelet function and dysfunctional endothelium-dependent vasodilatation representing a key factor in the progression of ischemic injuries. Antioxidants like carotenoids have been suggested to contribute in their prevention and treatment. Astaxanthin, a xanthophyll carotenoid produced naturally and synthetically, shows interesting antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. In vivo studies applying different models of induced ischemia and reperfusion (I/R) injury confirm astaxanthin's protective action after oral or intravenous administration. However, some studies have shown some limitations after oral administration such as low stability, bioavailability and bioefficacy, revealing a need for the implementation of new biomaterials to act as astaxanthin vehicles in vivo. Here, a brief overview of the chemical characteristics of astaxanthin, the carrier systems developed for overcoming its delivery drawbacks and the animal studies showing its potential effect to treat I/R injury are presented.