Astaxanthin inhibits thrombosis in cerebral vessels of stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats.
Nutr Res. 2011 Oct ;31(10):784-9. PMID: 22074803
Laboratory of Physiology, Faculty of Nutrition, Kobe Gakuin University, Nishi-Ku, Kobe, Japan.
It is known that vitamin E and some carotenoids have antioxidant activities that alleviate endothelial dysfunction and play a protective role against cardiovascular disease. The current study was designed to examine the hypothesis that astaxanthin, a red pigment carotenoid found in salmonid and crustacean aquaculture, protects stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRSP) from vascular oxidative damage, hypertension, and cerebral thrombosis. Male 6-week-old SHRSP were classified into 4 groups: a control group, 2 astaxanthin groups, and a vitamin E group. The treated animals were given either astaxanthin or vitamin E for 3 weeks. Body weights in each group were not significantly different from control group during the treatment period, but the usual increase in systolic blood pressure in SHRSP observed with age was significantly suppressed by treatment. Thrombogenesis, assessed using a helium-neon (He-Ne) laser technique in pial blood vessels, together with antioxidant activity, assessed by measuring urinary 8-OHdG levels, were significantly moderated. Urinary nitric oxide (NO) metabolites were increased after treatment. These results supported our hypothesis and strongly suggested that the antithrombotic and antihypertensive effects of astaxanthin or vitamin E may be related to an increase in bioavailable NO, possibly mediated by decreased inactivation of NO by reactive oxygen species.