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J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2017 Jul;61(1):18-24. doi: 10.3164/jcbn.16-114. Epub 2017 Jun 15.

Astaxanthin ameliorates ferric nitrilotriacetate-induced renal oxidative injury in rats.

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Department of Pathological Research, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Okayama, Okayama 700-8558, Japan.
Department of Pathology and Biological Responses, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, 65 Tsurumai, Showa-ku, Nagoya 466-8550, Japan.
Department of Anti-Aging Food Sciences, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry, and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2-5-1 Shikata-cho, Kita-ku, Okayama 700-8558, Japan.


Daily intake of vegetables can reduce the risk of cancer and lifestyle-related diseases. However, supplementary intake of β-carotene alone has been reported to increase the risk of lung cancer in male cigarette smokers and people who were exposed to asbestos. The mechanism of the antioxidative properties of carotenoids in vivo, especially under oxidative stress conditions, still remains unclear. To investigate the antioxidant properties of dietary compounds, we examined the effects of chemically modified astaxanthin (Ax-C-8) using a rat model of ferric nitrilotriacetate (Fe-NTA)-induced renal oxidative injury. Ax-C-8 demonstrated lethally toxic effects on the rats in a dose-dependent manner. Following supplementation with Ax-C-8 (0.02%, w/w) for 30 days, the rats were euthanized 1, 4 and 24 h after injection of Fe-NTA. After 4 h, Ax-C-8 pretreatment suppressed the elevation of creatinine and blood urea nitrogen and protected the rats from renal tubular necrosis and the formation of 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal-modified proteins. After 24 h, pretreatment with Ax-C-8 maintained the renal antioxidant enzyme levels and renal tubules. Here, we demonstrate the antioxidant effects of Ax-C-8 against Fe-NTA-induced oxidative injury in rats receiving a regular diet. These data suggest that dietary intake of astaxanthin may be useful for the prevention of renal tubular oxidative damage.


astaxanthin; ferric nitrilotriacetate; oxidative stress; vitamin E

Conflict of interest statement

Research grant was provided from the Institute for Health Care Science, Suntory (Osaka, Japan).

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