Fucoxanthin, a Marine Carotenoid, Reverses Scopolamine-Induced Cognitive Impairments in Mice and Inhibits Acetylcholinesterase in Vitro.
Mar Drugs. 2016 Mar 25 ;14(4). Epub 2016 Mar 25. PMID: 27023569
Fucoxanthin, a natural carotenoid abundant in edible brown seaweeds, has been shown to possess anti-cancer, anti-oxidant, anti-obesity and anti-diabetic effects. In this study, we report for the first time that fucoxanthin effectively protects against scopolamine-induced cognitive impairments in mice. In addition, fucoxanthin significantly reversed the scopolamine-induced increase of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity and decreased both choline acetyltransferase activity and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression. Using an in vitro AChE activity assay, we discovered that fucoxanthin directly inhibits AChE with an IC50 value of 81.2μM. Molecular docking analysis suggests that fucoxanthin likely interacts with the peripheral anionic site within AChE, which is in accordance with enzymatic activity results showing that fucoxanthin inhibits AChE in a non-competitive manner. Based on our current findings, we anticipate that fucoxanthin might exhibit great therapeutic efficacy for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease by acting on multiple targets, including inhibiting AChE and increasing BDNF expression.