Inhibition of Ultraviolet B-Induced Expression of the Proinflammatory Cytokines TNF-α and VEGF in the Cornea by Fucoxanthin Treatment in a Rat Model

Shiu Jau Chen, Ching Ju Lee, Tzer Bin Lin, Hsiang Jui Liu, Shuan Yu Huang, Jia Zeng Chen, Kuang Wen Tseng

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Ultraviolet B (UVB) irradiation is the most common cause of radiation damage to the eyeball and is a risk factor for human corneal damage. We determined the protective effect of fucoxanthin, which is a carotenoid found in common edible seaweed, on ocular tissues against oxidative UVB-induced corneal injury. The experimental rats were intravenously injected with fucoxanthin at doses of 0.5, 5 mg/kg body weight/day or with a vehicle before UVB irradiation. Lissamine green for corneal surface staining showed that UVB irradiation caused serious damage on the corneal surface, including severe epithelial exfoliation and deteriorated epithelial smoothness. Histopathological lesion examination revealed that levels of proinflammatory cytokines, including tumor necrosis factor-κ (TNF-κ) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), significantly increased. However, pretreatment with fucoxanthin inhibited UVB radiation-induced corneal disorders including evident preservation of corneal surface smoothness, downregulation of proinflammatory cytokine expression, and decrease of infiltrated polymorphonuclear leukocytes from UVB-induced damage. Moreover, significant preservation of the epithelial integrity and inhibition of stromal swelling were also observed after UVB irradiation in fucoxanthin-treated groups. Pretreatment with fucoxanthin may protect against UVB radiation-induced corneal disorders by inhibiting expression of proinflammatory factors, TNF-κ, and VEGF and by blocking polymorphonuclear leukocyte infiltration.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13
JournalMarine Drugs
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2016



  • Fucoxanthin
  • Proinflammatory cytokine
  • Ultraviolet B

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Drug Discovery

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