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J Nutr. 2014 Feb;144(2):185-92. doi: 10.3945/jn.113.183657. Epub 2013 Dec 4.

Indicaxanthin from cactus pear fruit exerts anti-inflammatory effects in carrageenin-induced rat pleurisy.

Author information

1
Department of Biological, Chemical, and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technologies, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.

Abstract

Nutritional research has shifted recently from alleviating nutrient deficiencies to chronic disease prevention. We investigated the activity of indicaxanthin, a bioavailable phytochemical of the betalain class from the edible fruit of Opuntia ficus-indica (L. Miller) in a rat model of acute inflammation. Rat pleurisy was achieved by injection of 0.2 mL of λ-carrageenin in the pleural cavity, and rats were killed 4, 24, and 48 h later; exudates were collected to analyze inflammatory parameters, such as nitric oxide (NO), prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α); cells recruited in pleura were analyzed for cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression, and nuclear factor κ-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) activation. Indicaxanthin (0.5, 1, or 2 μmol/kg), given orally before carrageenin, time- and dose-dependently, reduced the exudate volume (up to 70%) and the number of leukocytes recruited in the pleural cavity (up to 95%) at 24 h. Pretreatment with indicaxanthin at 2 μmol/kg inhibited the carrageenin-induced release of PGE(2) (91.4%), NO (67.7%), IL-1β (53.6%), and TNF-α (71.1%), and caused a decrease of IL-1β (34.5%), TNF-α (81.6%), iNOS (75.2%), and COX2 (87.7%) mRNA, as well as iNOS (71.9%) and COX-2 (65.9%) protein expression, in the recruited leukocytes. Indicaxanthin inhibited time- and dose- dependently the activation of NF-κB, a key transcription factor in the whole inflammatory cascade. A pharmacokinetic study with a single 2 μmol/kg oral administration showed a maximum 0.22 ± 0.02 μmol/L (n = 15) plasma concentration of indicaxanthin, with a half-life of 1.15 ± 0.11 h. When considering the high bioavailability of indicaxanthin in humans, our findings suggest that this dietary pigment has the potential to improve health and prevent inflammation-based disorders.

PMID:
24306215
DOI:
10.3945/jn.113.183657
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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