The Protective Effect of Astaxanthin on Cognitive Function via Inhibition of Oxidative Stress and Inflammation in the Brains of Chronic T2DM Rats.
Front Pharmacol. 2018 ;9:748. Epub 2018 Jul 10. PMID: 30042685
Currently, there are no effective treatments for diabetes-related cognitive dysfunction. Astaxanthin (AST), the most powerful antioxidant in nature, exhibits diverse biological functions. In this study, we tried to explore whether AST would ameliorate cognitive dysfunction in chronic type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) rats. The T2DM rat model was induced via intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin. Forty Wistar rats were divided into a normal control group, an acute T2DM group, a chronic T2DM group, and an AST group (treated with AST at a dose of 25 mg/kg three times a week). The Morris water maze test showed that the percentage of time spent in the target quadrant of the AST group was identical to that of the chronic T2DM group, while the escape latency of the AST group was decreased in comparison to that of the chronic T2DM group. Histology of the hippocampus revealed that AST ameliorated the impairment in the neurons of diabetic rats. Western blot showed that AST could upregulate nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) and heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1) expression and inhibit nuclear transcription factor kappa B (NF-κB) p65 activation in the hippocampus. We found that AST increased the level of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and decreased the level of malondialdehyde (MDA) in the hippocampus. In addition, the levels of interleukin 1 beta (IL-1β) and interleukin 6 (IL-6) were reduced in the AST group compared withthose in the chronic T2DM group. The findings of this research imply that AST might inhibit oxidative stress and inflammatory responses by activating the Nrf2-ARE signaling pathway.