Purpose. Astaxanthin (AST) has a strong antioxidant cellular membrane chaperone protective effect. Recently, a water-soluble nanosized AST (nano-AST) form was produced, which is expected to improve the efficacy of oral intake effects. The purpose of this study was to examine whether oral nano-AST has therapeutic effects on UV-induced photokeratitis in mice. Methods. C57BL/6 mice were administered twice with either nano-AST, AST oil, lutein, or bilberry extracts 3 hours before and shortly before UV irradiation (dose: 400 mJ/cm2). The corneas were collected 24 hours after irradiation and stained with H&E and TUNEL. NF-κB, dihydroethidium (DHE), COX-2, p-IκB-α, TNFα, and CD45 expression were evaluated through immunohistochemistry, Western blot analysis, and qPCR. Results. Corneal epithelium was significantly thicker in mice orally administered with nano-AST than in the others (p<0.01), with significantly less NF-κB nucleus translocation (p<0.001), and significantly fewer TUNEL cells (p<0.01). Weaker DHE signals were detected in the nano-AST group (p<0.05) relative to the others. Furthermore, reduced inflammation and decreased cell death in corneal tissue were observed in the nano-AST group, as indicated by a reduction in the expression of COX-2, p-IκB-α, TNFα, and CD45. Conclusions. Oral administration of nano-AST demonstrated a protective effect on UV-induced photokeratitis via antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and antiapoptotic activity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology