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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2017, Article ID 1956104, 13 pages
Research Article

Protective Effects of Oral Astaxanthin Nanopowder against Ultraviolet-Induced Photokeratitis in Mice

1Division of Oral Medicine and Pathology, Department of Human Biology and Pathophysiology, School of Dentistry, Health Sciences University of Hokkaido, Tobetsu, Japan
2School of Dentistry, College of Oral Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan
3Department of Ophthalmology, Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Linkoping University, Linkoping, Sweden
4Laboratory of Biomedical Cell Technologies, School of Biomedicine, Far Eastern Federal University, Vladivostok, Russia
5Division of Disease Control and Molecular Epidemiology, Department of Oral Growth and Development, School of Dentistry, Health Sciences University of Hokkaido, Tobetsu, Japan
6The Research Institute of Personalized Health Sciences, Health Sciences University of Hokkaido, Tobetsu, Japan
7Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine and Graduate School of Medicine, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan
8Health Care Laboratory, FUJIFILM Corporation, Tokyo, Japan
9Department of Dentistry, Taipei Medical University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
10Department of Dentistry, Lotung Poh-Ai Hospital, Yilan, Taiwan
11Department of Ophthalmology, Health Sciences University of Hokkaido Hospital, Sapporo, Japan

Correspondence should be addressed to Nobuyoshi Kitaichi;

Received 2 April 2017; Revised 14 June 2017; Accepted 25 July 2017; Published 28 September 2017

Academic Editor: Xiaolun Sun

Copyright © 2017 Fumiya Harada et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Purpose. Astaxanthin (AST) has a strong antioxidant cellular membrane chaperone protective effect. Recently, a water-soluble nanosized AST (nano-AST) form was produced, which is expected to improve the efficacy of oral intake effects. The purpose of this study was to examine whether oral nano-AST has therapeutic effects on UV-induced photokeratitis in mice. Methods. C57BL/6 mice were administered twice with either nano-AST, AST oil, lutein, or bilberry extracts 3 hours before and shortly before UV irradiation (dose: 400 mJ/cm2). The corneas were collected 24 hours after irradiation and stained with H&E and TUNEL. NF-κB, dihydroethidium (DHE), COX-2, p-IκB-α, TNFα, and CD45 expression were evaluated through immunohistochemistry, Western blot analysis, and qPCR. Results. Corneal epithelium was significantly thicker in mice orally administered with nano-AST than in the others (), with significantly less NF-κB nucleus translocation (), and significantly fewer TUNEL cells (). Weaker DHE signals were detected in the nano-AST group () relative to the others. Furthermore, reduced inflammation and decreased cell death in corneal tissue were observed in the nano-AST group, as indicated by a reduction in the expression of COX-2, p-IκB-α, TNFα, and CD45. Conclusions. Oral administration of nano-AST demonstrated a protective effect on UV-induced photokeratitis via antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and antiapoptotic activity.