Inflammation and oxidative stress are closely related processes in the pathogenesis of various ocular diseases. Uveitis is a disorder of the uvea and ocular tissues that causes extreme pain, decreases visual acuity, and can eventually lead to blindness. The pharmacological functions of fucoxanthin, isolated from brown algae, induce a variety of therapeutic effects such as oxidative stress reduction and repression of inflammation reactions. However, the specific anti-inflammatory effects of fucoxanthin on pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP) lipopolysaccharide-induced uveitis have yet to be extensively described. Therefore, the aim of present study was to investigate the anti-inflammatory effects of fucoxanthin on uveitis in rats. The results showed that fucoxanthin effectively enhanced the expression of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) in ocular tissues. Furthermore, fucoxanthin significantly increased the ocular activities of superoxide dismutase and decreased the levels of malondialdehyde stimulated by PAMP-induced uveitis. Ocular hypertension and the levels of inflammatory cells and proinflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor-alpha in the aqueous humor were alleviated with fucoxanthin treatment. Consequently, compared to the observed effects in lipopolysaccharide groups, fucoxanthin treatment significantly preserved iris sphincter innervation and pupillary function. Additionally, PAMP-induced corneal endothelial disruption was significantly inhibited by fucoxanthin treatment. Overall, these findings suggest that fucoxanthin may protect against inflammation from PAMP-induced uveitis by promoting the Nrf2 pathway and inhibiting oxidative stress.
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