Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy
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Astaxanthin (AST), known as a carotenoid pigment, is a strong antioxidant which protects membranous
phospholipids and other lipids against peroxidation. Evidences showed that astaxanthin had up to several-fold stronger free
radical antioxidant activity than vitamin E and carotene. In double-blind, randomized controlled trial, astaxanthin was found
to lower oxidative stress in several human health conditions. Moreover, it is known that ROS up-regulate pro-inflammatory
cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-1 (IL-1), and IL-6. High levels of these cytokines are
associated with neurotoxicity whereas, astaxanthin has been found to reduce the causatives of inflammation like TNF-α. Thus,
astaxanthin has been deemed to be safe and has potential as a therapeutic antioxidant and anti-inflammation agent for further
testing in human diseases.
To explore the protective effect of astaxanthin on fetal alcohol spectrum disorder in mice, and to investigate the
We detected the morphology, expression of neural marker genes, oxidative stress indexes, and inflammatory factors
in mice model of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder with or without astaxanthin pretreatment.
Our results showed that astaxanthin blocked maternal ethanol induced retardation of embryonic growth, and the
down-regulation of neural marker genes, Otx1 and Sox2. Moreover, astaxanthin also reversed the increases of MDA, H2O2, and
the decrease of GPx in fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. In addiction, maternal ethanol induced up-regulation of TLR4, and the
down-streaming MyD88, MyD88, NF-κB, TNF-α, and IL-1β in embryos, and this was inhibited by astaxanthin pretreatment.
Our results demonstrated a protective effect of astaxanthin on fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, and suggested
that oxidative stress and toll-like receptor signaling associated inflammatory reaction were involved in this process.
Dong Zheng has completed his PhD at the Department of Neurology, Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hospital, Sun Yat-Sen University, 2012. He is now the director of
Department of Neurology, Guangzhou Brain Hospital, Guangzhou, China. He has shown great expertise in the area of toxic encephalopathy and fetal alcohol
spectrum disorder for many years, and has published a number of articles in reputed international journals.
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