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Anton Lennikov, Nobuyoshi Kitaichi, Risa Fukase, Miyuki Murata, Kousuke Noda, Shigeaki Ohno, Ryo Ando, Susumu Ishida; Amelioration Of Ultraviolet-induced Photokeratitis Treated With Astaxanthin Eye Drops In Mice. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):2004. doi: https://doi.org/.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Astaxanthin (AST), a red carotenoid found in marine animals and vegetables, has potential clinical applications due to its higher antioxidant activity than β-carotene and α-tocopherol. Acute ultraviolet (UV) exposure causes photokeratitis and induces various inflammatory changes in the cornea. In the present study, we examined whether topical administration of AST has therapeutic effects on UV-photokeratitis in mice.
Six- to 8-week-old C57BL/6 male mice were used. C57BL/6 male mice were administered AST in instillation form at the concentrations of 1 mg/ml, 0.1 mg/ml, and 0.01 mg/ml to right eyes, whereas left eyes were instilled with vehicle alone. After the instillation, the mice were irradiated with UVB at the dose of 400 mJ/cm2 under anesthesia. Eyeballs were collected 24 hours after irradiation, and corneal damage was evaluated by TUNEL. As an in vitro study, NIH-3T3 cells irradiated with UVB were cultured with or without AST. Cytotoxicity was quantified with LDH assay.
UVB irradiation caused disruption of the corneal basement membrane and UVB irradiation caused disruption of the corneal basement membrane and thinning of the corneal epithelium; however, the epithelium was well preserved after irradiation in AST-treated corneas. The corneal epithelium thickness was 35.75±1.7, 29.75±1.7 and 8.5±2.8 µm in mice treated with 1, 0.1 and 0.01 mg/ml of AST, respectively. The mean corneal epithelial thickness was 4.75±4.6 µm in untreated eyes after irradiation. Non-irradiated corneal epithelium was 38.25±2.5 µm thick. Apoptotic cells were counted as 2.75±3.7, 2.25±2.8, 19.0±3.2, and 23.0±5.3 in eyes treated with 1, 0.1, 0.01, and 0 mg/ml of AST, respectively. Significantly fewer apoptotic cells were observed in AST-treated UV-irradiated corneas than controls (p<0.01). In vitro study showed less cytotoxicity in AST-treated cells after UVB-irradiation. The percentages of mean cytotoxicity after irradiation were 23.0±5.3%, 59.25±5.3%, 77.75±7.6 %, and 86.75±4.3% in wells added 1, 0.1, 0.01, and 0 mg of AST, respectively.
These results suggest that AST has the protective effect against UVB damage in vivo and in vitro. AST might be a promising naturally-derived material protecting ocular surface from the toxicity of ultraviolet.
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